As you may have heard, I am coming back to Chicago in the next couple of weeks for another round of Groupon research. Although you didn’t take me up on my invitation the last time I visited Chicago, I’d like to encourage you to re-consider this time.
Since I started writing about Groupon last June, I’ve been right about most things. Here are some of my predictions that have come true:
- Groupon would have to abandon ACSOI.
- Groupon would have to use net accounting instead of gross accounting.
- Groupon Getaways wouldn’t be meaningful.
- Groupon Now wouldn’t be meaningful.
- Consumers would fatigue of daily deals.
- The deal quality would go down as better merchants figured out that running Groupons is a bad idea.
- The Groupon Promise would turn out to be too expensive. During my last visit, I very explicitly told your PR team that they were underestimating the refund rate. This, as we know, was the cause of your restatement that has sent the stock into freefall.
I’m happy to chat with you about the current state of Groupon and the steps that management is taking to fix these problems.
There are a few other reasons you should consider meeting with me:
- I will be meeting with current and former Groupon employees during my trip. I can only spend so much time in Chicago, so any time I spend with you is time that I’m not talking to employees.
- I talk to most reporters who cover Groupon. Because I have spent more time than nearly anyone studying the space, I give background information to many others who are looking to learn and write about it.
- I talk to money managers about Groupon and the local space. Before the IPO, I talked to many money managers about the offering. Most everyone I talked to listened to what I had to say and didn’t buy at the offering. (And they’re now very thankful — considering that the stock is down 35% in less than 6 months.) If there’s a better story to tell for the future, I’m sure they’d love to know.
And, who knows, after meeting, we may decide that my April Fool’s joke isn’t such a bad idea.