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Sears Canada Gambles On An Online Group-Coupon Deal That Excludes Online Customers

Written by Frank Hayes
July 27th, 2011

Cross-channel retailing doesn’t display its weird moments any more clearly than this: Last week, Sears Canada offered a group-coupon deal ($25 for a coupon good for any merchandise worth $50) through Canadian Groupon competitor Buytopia.ca. All 5,000 vouchers sold by the first afternoon of the three-day deal, so the promotion was clearly a success. But Sears wants the coupons to pull customers into its stores now, during the lull before back-to-school shopping starts. As such, the coupons specifically exclude online sales—they’re good in-store only. Unfortunately for Sears, and as usual with such deals, the coupons are good for 90 days—long past Sears’ target shopping window.

That means the promotion could be a sell-out success and a complete failure if coupon buyers decide to just wait a month until they would have hit the stores anyway. The in-store-only requirement could also irritate the online-oriented customers Sears was targeting. And even if a group-coupon promotion works for the first time with a big retailer that is not a discount apparel chain, sorting out why it worked may be impossible. There may just be too many built-in contradictions for Sears to be able to work out whether this is a case of highly tuned cross-channel retailing—or just dumb luck.


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3 Comments | Read Sears Canada Gambles On An Online Group-Coupon Deal That Excludes Online Customers

  1. Mike Says:

    A lot of people are interested in coupons these days, specially with shows on television like Extreme Coupons people are looking for new ways to save money on their expenses. I think that this is a good strategy for Sears but they still have a ton of competition Online.

  2. Mark Says:

    Sounds like one of Dene Rogers (the ex president) swan song promotions that will tick off many customers. How ridiculous to offer an on-line coupon promotion that won’t work on-line???????

  3. Shine Says:

    It’s easier for people to get the coupon online, more convenient. As long as they make it clear that the promotions won’t work for online sales and the people buying the coupons know this, then what’s the problem?

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