/// Groupon’s Not Trying to Become Amazon, but Andrew Mason Says Products Are Key
Do you need a new wireless router? Or maybe you want a silk duvet or a faux leather jacket. Well, if you act fast enough, there’s a chance you can buy them for 50 percent off on Groupon. The Chicago daily deals company, which once focused solely on selling coupons for restaurants and spas, has quickly morphed into an online retailer, selling physical goods that are shipped to your front door. In about a year’s time, the side business has grown to account for 11.4 percent of the company’s North American revenue, totaling $193.7 million in the first nine months of the year. Yesterday, on Groupon’s quarterly conference call , CEO Andrew Mason defended the decision to expand into products, even though it means lower margins and going up against some mighty competitors, like Amazon. “We built something that fits squarely into our core customer value proposition of the discovery of curated offers and carves out a unique space in the retail e-commerce sandbox,” said Mason, according to a Seeking Alpha transcript of the call
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