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Fairfax gets the group buying itch

Launches 'Treat Me' in NZ

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Fairfax Media is trying its hand at group buying with the launch of Treat Me in New Zealand. Treat Me is a spin-off sister site to New Zealand's largest online auction site Trade Me which Fairfax acquired in 2006 for around $600 million.

Treat Me will operate as a separate business unit to Trade Me, with a dedicated team led by entrepreneur James MacAvoy.

Coupon offers will launch in Auckland and Wellington on 22 March and will spread nationally.

Fairfax said in a statement: “Treat Me will harness the retro coolness of vouchers and coupons, kicked off by Groupon in the USA back in 2008. With the Kiwi market still in its infancy, we're confident Treat Me will appeal to Kiwi advertisers and buyers as a place to find a great deal."

While the Australian market is enjoying a glut of group buying players with around 25 currently in operation, New Zealand is slower to get in on the craze. In Australia analysts forecast the group buying sector will generate revenue of AU$242 million in revenue during 2011 (roughly 0.1 per cent of Australia's $240bn retail market).

Australian coupon player Spreets, owned by Yahoo!7, has already entered the New Zealand market and NineMSN owned Cudo, is set to launch a New Zealand version I the next few weeks, in partnership with TV and radio company MediaWorks. ®

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