Ah, the incredible lightness of daily deal making…
It’s one thing to be late to the party. Like a year and a half late. Quite another to stagger out of the starting blocks with a weak-kneed effort. Yet that’s exactly what the Kansas City Star did Monday with the launch of its new Groupon-like, dealsaver.com daily deal.
Affiliated – as once rumored – with Groupon?
"It’s not," says one local daily deal expert. "It’s their own – their own misguided product."
Instead of leading off with a big name, kickass, gotta-have-it deal, the newspaper ginned up a retread with inner city, specialty movie exhibitor Screenland.
"$17 for 2 tickets, 2 soft drinks, 2 large popcorns at Screenland Theatres ($36 value)," it reads.
Sound familiar? It should.
Groupon did the exact same deal four months earlier for less money.
"$16 for Two Movie Tickets, Two Large Popcorns, and Two Large Sodas," reads the Groupon deal.
Worse yet, the Star’s hair removal deal today had ZERO takers around 11 a.m.
Let’s take a gander at the bottom line…
In 24 hours last February, Groupon sold 1,112 Screenland deals. In approaching a day and a half, the Star had 144 sold.
"I wonder how many people the Star has on their email distribution," wonders the source. "Groupon has more than 300,000 names."
With a half dozen or more dealmakers flooding the market, some say the Star is not only late to the party but behind the curve on the direction deals are headed.
As in, the recently announced Groupon Now!
With Groupon Now! buyers enter their location and choose the type of deal they’d like to see. Sushi in downtown Chicago, a three star hotel room off Times Square. Groupon Now! has yet to launch in Kansas City yet but is expected to shortly.
"It’s not going to be so much about daily deals. It’s going to be up to the minute deals. Like if you’re a restaurant that’s half full or doesn’t have hardly any reservations on a Tuesday night, you can sit there and eat it or do a discount deal that will affect your business that night. You don’t have to wait three weeks."
The $64 million question: What will become of the geezer-pleaser Star Card?