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Groupon Not As Big in Japan Following Unfortunate Osechi Incident: Report

A consumer research firm finds that a bad food foray in Japan is hurting the daily deals site’s sales.

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Sales for Groupon and other daily deals sites in Japan are hurting following an incident we’ll call “OsechiGate”–a bad food deal involving osechi, a decadent Japanese New Year’s dish. Despite Groupon founder Andrew Mason’s video apology to the people of Japan a few weeks ago, Groupon sales dropped 14% over the last month, according to Coupon-Jp (PDF), a consumer research firm in Japan.

Here’s how OsechiGate went down. Groupon customers were promised a rich osechi spread, something that looks like this:

Instead, what they got was something that looked like this:

Some pundits thought the event might actually be a publicity boon for Groupon, under the any-press-is-good-press theory, says SocialTimes. But Coupon-jp’s report suggests otherwise. Even Groupon clones have been hurting in the wake of the incident.

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[SocialTimes]

[Images: Groupon, Flickr user bm.iphone]

About the author

David Zax is a contributing writer for Fast Company. His writing has appeared in many publications, including Smithsonian, Slate, Wired, and The Wall Street Journal

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