Groupon Slows Down After New Year Osechi Incident In Japan

One month after the Groupon Japan’s New Year celebration food Osechi delivery trouble, Japanese consumers mind seem to be away from daily deal coupon services, even with the Groupon CEO Andrew Mason’s video apology.
A vertical coupon search service Coupon-jp issued a research [J]. There, they tracked all coupon sold on Groupon Japan and other 146 clones during January 2011, comparing the sales with the month before. Here is the top sellers,

As you see, Japanese daily deal market is competed between Groupon Japan and Pompare, by Japanese media conglomerate Recruit. Recently, lots of ads space are taken up by these two companies on Japanese web.
According to the research, in January, Groupon Japan decreased its sales 14% from December, Pompare lost 18%. The total of 147 sites, i.e. industry, also lost 16% sales.
For a month, there have been a lot of media reports on this issue and the word ‘Groupon’ on TV, newspapers and magazines. There were people who predicted that this might even promote Groupon business in Japan rather than making people cautious, which has not realized so far.
About the osechi incident, Groupon Japan released their internal research on January 29th. There they disclosed two more problems, 8 foods in the New Year’s set used different ingredients from what they had been labeled, and the original-priced set had never been sold in reality. Groupon Japan emphasizes that they are not a vendor or seller of the osechi set but “feel morally responsible”.
Bird Cafe, the seller of the set also post their explanation on their site’s top page, however, this notes are written not in texts but in single big image, which makes web people angry again as they think it is their trying to avoid search engine and make it less findable.


  1. Although the whole coupon market dropped, the Groupon suffered less than the average. I wonder why.

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