US online discount voucher business Groupon has become the latest e-venture to launch a bricks-and-mortar arm with the creation of a new concept store in Hong Kong.
Located in Soundwill Plaza in the Causeway Bay shopping area, the Groupon store is intended to make it easier for customers to redeem deals purchased on its website, as well as providing a space where they can test out the products.
Shoppers are provided with iPads to browse, buy and print Groupon vouchers on the spot in the 4,000 sq ft space. “We've found many customers prefer picking up their Groupon products as opposed to delivery in Hong Kong,” explained Danny Yeung, chief executive and founder of Groupon Hong Kong.
The Hong Kong store is Groupon’s second offline destination, joining the Singapore store that launched in the summer of 2012. It’s also one of a growing number of pure play online retailers branching into bricks-and-mortar stores to enhance customer service and engage face to face with consumers. Handmade goods marketplace Etsy and auction site eBay are among the e-commerce giants that have opened pop-up shops in the past six months.
For more on the future of bricks-and-mortar stores, including their role as testing grounds and brand spaces designed to support online sales, see Future Stores: Brand Hubs and Product Playgrounds.