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Virgin ponders entry into the lucrative "Daily Deals" coupon market

# 23 February 2011, 17:14 by Chris T

Virgin Group is drawing up plans to send daily time-limited special offer emails to customers across its many different companies, according to a report in the Financial Times.

It is said to be looking for partner companies to help fund and launch the service later this year.

The so-called “Daily Deals” market has become vast and highly competitive since the market leader, Groupon, launched in 2008. That company’s early success spawned a host of imitators, with Google and Facebook among the more recent launches.

A typical Daily Deal email contains a selection of special offers, usually to be redeemed within a short time period or available only until a limited number of customers have signed up. They are normally localised to the customer’s home city or region and might offer anything from discounted gym membership to money off the bill at a popular local restaurant.

A source with inside knowledge of Virgin Group’s plans told the FT that Virgin planned to make use of the vast email databases of customers from across the Virgin brand. Offers made available to Virgin customers would come from Virgin Group companies and also from any marketing partner companies who sign up with it.

A number of wealthy venture capital organisations have recently indicated they wanted to stay well clear of Daily Deals programmes, as the market for them has become crowded and success is perceived to be difficult and expensive.

But Virgin Group is thought to believe that the power of its brand and its access to a wide range of services from companies across the group will give it a good chance of making a successful entry to the market.

Financial Times article (requires free subscription)

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