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Groupon moves into online retailing in US

All products made of 'bonded molecules and stardust'

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Groupon has launched a retail unit in the US, putting the daily deals website in competition with etailing leaders like Amazon.

The US website currently has an FAQ list on the new service here, that enthuses:

Groupon Goods features really good deals on great products. To get airspace on Groupon Goods, a product has to be cool enough to share and innovative enough to inspire. It also must be made of reliably bonded molecules and stardust.

Honestly, if we think a product is remarkable and we can offer a good deal on it, we'll do so.

The web company sent emails to select customers with discounts on home furnishing products like LED TVs and coffee brewers, according to a Reuters report.

"(The offer is) already seeing good results," a source close to the matter told the agency. "Groupon Goods is the buzz around Groupon. It can add significant impact to Groupon's growth strategy."

Groupon UK said it could not provide any statement at the moment as the email had been sent in the US and was currently for US subscribers only.

A move into retail could not only provide Groupon with a new revenue stream, but also bolster investor confidence in the firm ahead of its proposed IPO.

The coupon site was supposed to be going public earlier this month, but there's no sign of movement on the offering yet. Most recently, sources were claiming the IPO was scheduled for late October or early November, after being delayed partly by an SEC stumbling block over the well-publicised leaked email from Groupon CEO Andrew Mason, and partly by volatile market conditions. ®

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