July 14, 2010, 2:49 PM

Members-only retailer Ideeli launches a group buying initiative

IdeelAccess offers discounts on spa treatments, entertainment and travel.

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Members-only retailer ideeli Inc. has launched ideelAccess, weekly deals e-mailed to its 2.6 million members with discounts on entertainment and travel. Like Groupon, items become valid after a set number of members agrees to make a purchase.

However, unlike Groupon and other locally focused daily deal sites, ideelAccess’ offers are national—for now.

“We expect that customers will be able to buy anything from travel to entertainment, health and beauty and dining experiences,” says Tamara Rosenthal, executive director of brand marketing at ideeli. “We hope people tell their friends and through the power of group buying get to that tipping point and once the deal is a go, everyone is able to share in same benefit.”

The first deal available on ideelAccess is a 90-minute treatment at spa and salon chain Spa Chakra for $109, regularly priced at $337. Spa Chakra has locations in Marina Del Rey, CA, San Francisco, Chicago, Indianapolis, and New York City. Because the specified minimum of 100 buyers was met, after entering in their payment information customers can download the ideelAccess voucher for the treatment. 

The company will also be offering vouchers that customers will be able to redeem at physical stores nationally, adds Rosenthal. 

By the fourth quarter ideeli plans to launch local versions of ideelAccess for local merchants. “We are making our product relevant to the consumer and not just putting out deals,” says Rosenthal. “These are brands that members love or will learn to love.”

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