Two months ago, Amazon launched its Daily Deals offering Amazon Local in Boise, Idaho. Since then, it has expanded to include a handful of regions in California, Florida and Washington. The offering is attracting some attention in the press now because it has also expanded into Chicago.
Why is this significant? Because that would be Groupon's home turf, and the thinking is that direct competition from a powerhouse and trusted brand such as Amazon could be a major thorn in the company's side.
Another line of thinking, however, would be that there's plenty of room for a lot of deals providers to thrive. People like to save money, after all, and many are likely to use a variety of providers. There are already a lot of different options out there, and they don't seem to be having too much trouble attracting advertisers.
The Wall Street Journal reports: "For now, sales people from LivingSocial — a Groupon rival in which Amazon has an investment — are roping in the merchants for the Amazon local-deals offering. But Amazon said it has hired its own sales team for a standalone daily-deals offering planned for the latter part of this year."
Amazon is quoted as saying: “Customers already know and trust Amazon.com for their online purchases, and now with Amazon Local, they can also find great deals right in their own city. AmazonLocal is a great way for residents of the Windy City to enjoy the restaurants, spas, and activities in their backyard.”
Groupon filed for its IPO right around the time Amazon Local launched in Boise. It has been pushed back, however, pending an SEC review of the company's accounting practices.
Last week, Groupon and Foursquare announced Groupon Now for the popular check-in service.