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Interesting piece in the Boston Globe about the hot “daily deals” sector, noting that “the launch of so many online coupon sites - one analyst’s estimate is that there are more than 400 nationwide - is giving rise to concerns that the hot sector is now overcrowded with start-ups, all competing to cut deals with merchants and attract subscribers.”

According to the Globe, “Boston shoppers who looked online yesterday for local daily deals from discount websites had at least 84 to choose from, including 14 from restaurants, 5 from salons, and 2 from yoga studios. The 22 companies providing these deals ranged from Groupon, the online coupon service that invented the genre three years ago, to a new discount site from search giant Google Inc., which launched yesterday in Boston.”

There are some signs that the ranks of players in this segment are thinning; the Globe notes that “last month, the social networks Facebook and Yelp retreated from efforts to enter the field,” probably more because it ended up being a tougher business to get into than expected. And it now looks like Groupon will delay a planned IPO, mostly because of stock market conditions as opposed to competition and saturation.
KC's View:
On the one hand, the space is getting more crowded. On the other, there apparently is an enormous number of people who have never used any of these daily deal services.

Look for some interesting marketing efforts to take place to attract these folks ... it strikes me that there is a lot of room left for this concept to grow, at least until it gets replaced by the next hot thing.