Meet Groupacho -- L.A.’s new, Latino-centric answer to Groupon


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Groupacho, a daily deal site that aims to offer L.A.-area discounts ‘that reflect the lifestyle of Latino families’ went live this week, with the aim of tapping into the largest Latino market in the U.S.

It’s the latest in a proliferation of websites like Groupon and Living Social that offer limited-time, deeply discounted deals on everything from hamburgers to handbags and facials to ferry rides.


‘There really is no daily deal site out there that Hispanics can associate with,’ said co-founder David Barr. ‘A lot of the products kind of miss their tastes and their habits.’

Barr, 33, who describes himself as an Angeleno with a background in Hispanic retail, and co-founder Chris Carrillo, 37, an Ecuadoran with a five-year background in Hispanic marketing, decided to launch the site to tap into an under-served -- and rapidly growing -- market, which Barr says accounts for $12.8 billion in online spending annually.

“75% of the Hispanics in this country are 18 to 49 years old -- compared to 56% for non-Hispanics,’ Barr said. ‘They’re replacing the baby boomers who are retiring, which means they’re very attractive for long-term consumption, so it’s great to get in early.’ ‘So it’s a real untapped niche market, that a lot of corporations don’t really understand, so, while the big [daily deal sites] are doing this huge land grab geographically, we’re going after a demographic and a culture. We’re going to have merchants that offer quinceañera-type events, Hispanic festivals and more Hispanic restaurants.’

For the May 25 launch, offered deals in two geographic areas; ‘Los Angeles’ (a 60% discount at La Fonda Mexican restaurant on Wilshire Boulevard) and ‘L.A. Westside’ (51% off wood flooring at Cancun Wood Floors), and Barr says the plan is to eventually expand the geographic reach to represent seven major markets in Los Angeles and Orange counties.

He also offered up a grab-bag of Groupacho’s upcoming deals. ‘On Tuesday we’re putting up [a discount for] EZ Lube, and we’re planning a deal with El Cid on Sunset -- they have a great flamenco show -- we’ll have Dr. Boris Cosmetics -- it’s a huge kind of Latina place to go for hair removal and vein removal, and some spa deals coming up too.’

And, even though marketing studies have shown that Latinos appreciate bilingual marketing and packaging efforts, the Groupacho site is in English. But Barr appears to have done his homework.

‘Research has shown that more than half of Hispanics are comfortable on the Internet in English, and doing a Spanish [language] search with Google or Yahoo isn’t the most effective search, so we’re using English with some Spanish phrases as a way of branding it. We don’t want the general market to come here and feel they’re not welcome. Everyone’s welcome.’

In other words: Gringo, meet Groupacho, amigo.

-- Adam Tschorn


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