November 21, 2011, 4:44 PM

LivingSocial joins the Black Friday fun

The daily deal operator will feature nationwide deals from OfficeMax and other retailers.

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Black Friday marks the start of many retailers’ most aggressive promotions of the year. This year daily deal operator LivingSocial is jumping into the battle for consumers’ dollars by rolling out special offers from national retailers such as OfficeMax Inc. and Blue Nile Inc.

The daily deal operator will roll out one set of nine offers for three days, starting on the day after Thanksgiving. For instance, shoppers will be able to buy a voucher for $20 worth of merchandise from OfficeMax for $10 that is redeemable at any of the retailer’s bricks-and-mortar stores or online. OfficeMax is No. 9 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.

Consumers will be able to redeem those vouchers the following Monday, also known as Cyber Monday. That could help prevent the vouchers from eating into merchants’ profit margins over the weekend, while also luring shoppers back into stores after the holiday weekend, says a LivingSocial spokeswoman. "We want to get folks to come back into the stores after the weekend to finish up their holiday shopping," she says.  

On Monday the daily deal operator will release another set of offers, such as $200 worth of merchandise at BlueNile.com for $100. Blue Nile is No. 60 in the Top 500 Guide. Those vouchers will be redeemable the following day, and are good through Dec. 31

The offers will enable retailers to reach LivingSocial’s loyal fan base, says Mitch Spolan, senior vice president, national accounts at LivingSocial, which has 34 million U.S. members. "Daily deals present a great opportunity to extend a merchant's brand to consumers, which is even more important with the 'noise' surrounding the holiday season,” he says.  

LivingSocial’s biggest rival in the daily deal arena, Groupon, recently launched its holiday push, Grouponicus, that aggregates the most gift-worthy items across flash-sale service Groupon Goods, travel provider Getaways and ticket discounter GrouponLive.

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