Chicago Tribune Goes Shopping With Groupon

Woman running with shopping bag

Daily local deals aggregator Groupon may have rebuffed Google’s offers to acquire it, but the company is still open to shopping companions from the publishing world. The latest partner is The Chicago Tribune’s ChicagoShopping, which was just launched before Thanksgiving.

Among the other newspapers that Chicago-based Groupon is working with includes The McClatchy Co. (NYSE: MNI) and Media General.

Obviously, this is a more limited deal, since it’s just one newspaper. But it could open up to Tribune’s nine other daily newspapers, which include the Los Angeles Times, Hartford Courant and Orlando Sentinel. For now, ChicagoShopping will spotlight one new local deal a day on the site’s homepage.

These arrangements with Groupon show how newspapers, once the best place to advertise a big one-day sale, have had to turn to outside entities to help win back the local marketing environment. Of course, newspapers had traditionally counted on large department stores and other retailers, and not the kind small businesses that can be found on Groupon — which is why newspapers were slow to see this smaller social marketplace develop. So with the idea being, if you can’t beat ’em, sign an exclusivity deal with ’em for your local coverage area, partnerships like this should drive some incremental revenues for newspapers. But it also shows them what could have been theirs from the beginning. Release

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