American Apparel’s National ‘Groupon’ Combines Stores, E-commerce

American Apparel is running a nationwide Groupon today, offering $50 worth of clothing for $25. While the Los Angeles-based retailer can only hope to match the success Gap achieved in August, its offer has some interesting quirks in comparison.

First, vouchers purchased by people in the 55 markets with an American Apparel location (e.g. San Francisco, Kansas City, Nashville, TN, and Miami) can only be redeemed in the store. In markets like Missoula, MT, where there is no store, the voucher is redeemable only on the brand’s e-commerce site. By contrast, Gap’s $50-for-$25 offer was for store customers only, a bid to drive foot traffic and motivate shoppers to spend extra.

American Apparel’s offer went out to Groupon’s e-mail list of 15 million recipients. The deal is also being distributed on eBay due to Groupon’s recent advertising agreement with the auction site, representing an avenue that was not available at the time of Gap’s run. And while Gap’s deal was only available for a day, American Apparel’s offer can be purchased until Sunday night.

The retailer’s deal is Groupon’s featured offer today and will appear as a “side deal” through this weekend, according to Julie Mossler, spokesperson for the Chicago-based group-buying platform. “In a pinch, we may move a feature deal to the side deal spot for the next day or two following,” Mossler said. “It really depends on the needs of the local pipeline and the inventory/bandwith of the vendor.”

American Apparel’s offer is limited to one purchase per individual and must be redeemed by Feb. 19, 2011. As of 12:45 p.m. EST, New York City had sold 7,400 vouchers; San Francisco had tallied 2,900; Miami had move 610; and Kansas City had reeled in 515. There are still three days and 12 hours left in the campaign.

Meanwhile, like Soap.com’s recent efforts on Groupon, American Apparel’s e-mail list will likely get a boost because of the e-commerce-related sales. When going through the checkout process online, the voucher redeemers will be asked to opt in for future messaging.

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