November 18, 2010, 5:23 PM

American Apparel offers a national Groupon deal

Depending on a consumer’s Groupon market the offer is either online-only or in-store only.

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American Apparel Inc. today launched a nationwide Groupon offer in which consumers pay $25 for $50 of merchandise.

However, unlike Gap Inc. , which offered its Groupon deal in August only for in-store purchase, American Apparel is allowing consumers in markets that do not have an American Apparel store to use the voucher online. For consumers in markets that do have a bricks-and-mortar store, the Groupon offer is in-store only. The offer also excludes shoes, sale items and various other categories.

“We wanted this to be a truly national deal and it didn’t feel right to exclude people just because we haven’t opened a store in their city yet,” says a spokesman for American Apparel, No. 269 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide. “This hybrid model should allow us to reach new customers we otherwise wouldn’t have met and drive traffic to our retail stores and web site.”

American Apparel says that its goal is to give consumers an opportunity to try the retailer’s new knitwear products, its nail polish line and other products that are new to the company in the past year.

“There is simply no other opportunity around to do something like that on a such a large scale,” he says.

While Groupon typically takes a 50% share of the revenue generated from its offers, American Apparel says it negotiated a special rate for its offer. The company declines to disclose the specific arrangement.

By 4 p.m., more than 10,000 consumers in New York City, 6,000 in Los Angeles and 7,000 in Chicago had bought the offer. The offer was sent to consumers in 110 markets.

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