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CEO Andrew Mason may have only mentioned it in passing, but during Groupon’s (NASDAQ:GRPN) second-quarter earnings call yesterday, he shared a troubling explanation for why the company’s international growth rate was a mere 31% compared to the 66% growth in North America: Europeans simply don’t know Groupon like Americans do.
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“When our business development people came over here to the U.S.,” Mason commented at one point during the lengthy call, “they were surprised that the average person knew Groupon.” This relative lack of recognition in Europe – which constitutes a majority of Groupon’s international business – is something that will need to change if Groupon is to experience the sort of growth internationally that it’s enjoying here in the United States.
Mason spent much more time elaborating on some of Groupon’s other international concerns and the company’s plans to address them – too-high prices, disenchanted business merchants, and difficulties integrating technologies – but the international problem likely can’t be entirely resolved without a spike in Groupon’s popularity and presence abroad. And while problems are seldom fixed by just talking about them, in this case, the more that Europeans begin talking about Groupon, the better.
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