Groupon Wants Its Piece of Black Friday Too

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There are gimmicks and then there are gimmicks. Groupon, Inc. (NASDAQ: GRPN) is out with its gimmick for Black Friday. It sounds huge on the headline of $100 million, yet as you might have suspected it is something a bit smaller when you consider it.

Groupon says that its Black Friday promotion will be its largest ever promotion. The aim is to put $100 million in Groupon Bucks in the hands of tens of millions of subscribers on Black Friday.

$100 million sounds like a lot on the surface. It is meant to sound that way. The problem is that the numbers become very small when you look at this on an individual consumer level if it is really tens of millions of customers. Of course, the devil is in the details.

Groupon is giving select customers individual amounts up to $5,000 in Groupon Bucks. The company said, “In addition, one specially selected customer will receive $25,000 in Groupon Bucks to use towards a year-long Groupon shopping spree — that’s enough to buy a local Groupon every day for a year, an unforgettable Groupon Getaways and a full wish list from Groupon Goods. In the unlikely event the customer needs something that’s not available on Groupon, we’re also giving the customer $5,000 in cash.”

Groupon is signaling that there will be more than 65,000 deals, and the hook is to let its customers skip the lines and save even more cash by checking Groupon first. The release also said,

“Current customers can sign into on Black Friday to see a message announcing if they’ve received Groupon Bucks.”

The press release did not say “Please, pretty please, come visit the website to drive up our numbers this Friday.” It might as well have said that.