Groupon Opens “Actual” Shop in Singapore
Leading group deals site Groupon will be officially launching its first and only “real” shop in Singapore on 4 July, and TechWire Asia will be attending the exclusive event. Groupon Singapore CEO Karl Chong and COO Adrian Tan will be gracing the event and will give out interviews to invited journalists.
Mr. Chong will talk bout the Groupon strategy for Singapore while Mr. Tan will discuss how and why the shop will work. Groupon recently launched its WP7 and Symbian apps to complement its existing mobile apps offerings (iOS and Android). Some local group deals sites have folded in Singapore, yet Groupon Singapore stands strong.
Ms. Eileen Yu saw the Groupon Singapore shop at Suntec City last month and wrote that the store opened last 30 April. It houses three terminals and provides a physical location for buyers to redeem their coupons.
As the top “go-to” virtual deals store in Singapore, Groupon might soon be a leading “bricks and mortar” shop at Suntec City as well. Groupon leads all competitors hands down, and recently got a boost in image and stock price when Morgan Stanley upgraded it from “equal weight” to “overweight.” Stocks climbed yesterday by 11% on NASDAQ, marking a significant change over the previous weeks’ trading. Since its IPO in November, Groupon share prices slid from a high of US$25 (S$31.7) to its current level of $11 (S$13.9). Last week GRPN stocks hovered at the $9 (S$11.4) level.
In its first (and closed-door) shareholders’ meeting, Groupon added two new board members: Daniel Henry, American Express CFO (replacing Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz); and Robert Bass, retired vice chairman of Deloitte LLP (replacing venture capitalist and backer of Groupon’s initial funding Kevin Efrusy). Henry and Bass are expected to add their extensive financial expertise to the company.
This shift in direction from virtual to actual shop may change things for Groupon Singapore, but we will have to wait and see. I’m looking forward to the launch in 4 July, and will update you guys right after the opening.