How Is Groupon Still a Thing in 2016?


Remember Groupon? They were that company that sold you that half-off crepes or buy one, get one free snorkeling class deal in 2010. You probably never ate those crepes or went back for the second snorkeling lesson, but Groupon ($GRPN) got your money, and that’s all that matters.

For a while, this whole group-based, deal-buying shtick was fun. It gave exposure to businesses that you probably wouldn’t have heard about before. It also gave consumers a way to save on things they wanted, needed, or simply bought on impulse. It also made Groupon on a legitimate business, and the company went public.

What happened after that? Well, when was the last time you bought a Groupon? Exactly!

Groupon was a huge site between 2009 and 2011.

360b / Shutterstock.com
360b / Shutterstock.com

You might remember them from their tasteless Super Bowl commercial or their crazy deals.

Groupon went public in 2011.

Adriano Castelli / Shutterstock.com
Adriano Castelli / Shutterstock.com

When they first hit the stock market, their shares were worth around $26 each.

In the fall of 2011, however, Groupon’s sales didn’t meet their projections.

By Aaron Fulkerson [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
By Aaron Fulkerson [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
This caused investors to lose faith in the company, their CEO, and their business model, and the stock crashed. Numerous studies were released around this time, pointing to the burden Groupon puts on a business and the negative impact it has on the bottom line for small companies and stores.

Groupon ousted their CEO/founder, changed their business model a bunch of times, and sold parts of their company.

Flickr/Mike Mozart
Flickr/Mike Mozart

The company expanded to numerous countries like China, but didn’t perform as well as they hoped. They laid off thousands of employees at poorly performing international offices and focused on operating in well-performing countries. Founder and CEO Andrew Mason was fired because he frankly did a crap job at running the company, and subsequently released a rock album in 2013 about his woes. Alibaba also bought a small percentage of Groupon. Groupon even acquired LivingSocial, their direct competitor, earlier this year.

These days, Groupon sells pretty much everything.

Groupon.com
Groupon

You can actually buy products directly from Groupon. They still have group-buying deals and travel packages, but they exist in addition to deeply discounted direct sales and a bunch of other things that surprisingly keep the company (barely) afloat.

They might not be as big as they once were, but Groupon is still advertising — and investors are hopeful.

StockTwits
StockTwits

Lots of people are still doing their holiday shopping on Groupon, whether they’re buying getaway packages or a PlayStation 4. The stock isn’t doing too hot — it’s currently worth $3.99 a share, up from around $3 at the start of the year. Yet people seem to be surprisingly big on the stock.


Should you invest in Groupon? The company grew a bit since the beginning of the year. Their popularity has sharply decreased since their glory days, and they would probably benefit from some sort of buyout. Yet the bulk of Groupon investors are positive about the company’s future and their appeal to consumers, or at least possible acquiring companies. If you share the same sentiment and are a fan of the service, you might consider picking up some stock and keeping a keen eye on the company’s future

Share this story with your friends below. You won’t get half-off bungee jumping, unfortunately.