November 15, 2011, 4:20 PM

Groupon launches its holiday push

This year, the Grouponicus deals also include vacations and other big-ticket items.

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Groupon Inc. aims to grab a larger share of consumers’ spending this year with the launch of Grouponicus, its holiday deals program that it bills as the “opposite of tired gifts like a scarf or fruitcake.”

This marks the second year Groupon has rolled out Grouponicus around the holiday season. Last year the program focused on deals in 20 cities. This year it will add at least 20 additional markets in the United States and Canada and expand its offerings to include big-ticket items that it is calling Epic Deals.

Those Epic Deals include items such as a The Ellen DeGeneres Show VIP Experience in which a consumer and a friend receive plane tickets to Los Angeles to see two tapings of the show’s Twelve Days of Giveaways episodes, along with three nights at the Shorebreak Hotel or other deluxe accommodations. Groupon says the offering is valued at $10,000 but will be sold for $5,000.

Groupon is also featuring a national deal with retailer American Apparel Inc., as well as discounts on products such as electronics, other vacation packages and local experiences, including a massage that it is calling Local Gems. American Apparel is No. 273 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.

Grouponicus essentially aggregates the most gift-worthy items across flash-sale service Groupon Goods, travel provider Getaways and ticket discounter GrouponLive, says Aaron Cooper, Groupon senior vice president.

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