Groupon gets into online retailing with Groupon Goods

Wed Sep 28, 2011 2:59pm EDT

An online coupon sent via email from Groupon is pictured on a laptop screen November 29, 2010 in Los Angeles. REUTERS/Fred Prouser

An online coupon sent via email from Groupon is pictured on a laptop screen November 29, 2010 in Los Angeles.

Credit: Reuters/Fred Prouser

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(Reuters) - Groupon launched its online retail arm Groupon Goods for its American subscribers on Wednesday, moving beyond daily group discounts to compete with leaders like Amazon Inc.

The leading daily deals website sent emails to select customers on Wednesday, calling out Groupon Goods, with discounts on home furnishing products like LED TVs, coffee brewers and pilates.

"(The offer is) already seeing good results," a source close to the matter said. "Groupon Goods is the buzz around Groupon. It can add significant impact to Groupon's growth strategy."

Last Wednesday, Groupon sent a test batch of emails, with discounts on products like Ray Ban sunglasses, mattresses, and cutlery, but had not branded it under Groupon Goods at that time, the source said.

Although there is no visible presence on site, given the revenue potential and strength of offers, online retail is where Groupon is speculated to be headed for.

The source also said Groupon has brought on one of their top members of the international management team, former Citydeal co-founder and executive director of their UK team, Rajen Ruparell, to lead Groupon Goods.

Recently, Groupon moved top international executives, including Ruparell and Chris Muhr, Groupon's new sales chief, to headquarters operations.

Last week, its chief operating officer left to join Google Inc five months after joining the company, and ahead of a highly anticipated initial public offering.

(Reporting by Nivedita Bhattacharjee in Bangalore; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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