Groupon relaunches retailer site as waffle shop says it got burned

Groupon has launched a retooled version of GrouponWorks.com, a site to help merchants take full advantage of Groupon offers, marketing programs, case studies, rewards, scheduling, feedback and analytics.

Press materials heralding the relaunch include a testimonial fromCarolyn Franks, who says Groupon helped rescue herCaliforniabusiness, Zoomars Petting Zoo, from failure by boosting visits from 200to 2,000 per week.

“Groupon saved our zoo,” Franks says.

Bigger headlines are being made over a waffle house in Washington, D.C.which, as first reported in a local area magazine,blames Groupon’s business model and practices for its closure. (Thebusiness, incidentally, went by the less than appetizing name of BackAlley Waffles, which perhaps also contributed to its demise.) Thatprompted Slateblogger Matthew Yglesias to ruminate on what he says are fundamental shortcomings betweenthe expectations small businesses have about Groupon and what it canactually do for them.

Added to this whole syrupy mess is Groupon’s share price, which closedat a new all-time low of $7.07 on the NASDAQ on July 18. Metrics firmcomScore added fuel to the fire (the same one allegedly burning thewaffle store’s business and sending the stock up in flames) byreporting that traffic to Groupon’s site fell 15 per cent in June fromthe same month a year earlier.  

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