County Coupon War Heats Up

Groupon‘s first results as a public company disappointed investors this week.

But the website is not the only daily discount deal in town. Angelo Zucaro is trying to replicate the erstwhile high flyer, with a more local focus. takes the Groupon concept — one offer a day — and gives it a community twist.

“Discounts from Groupon and Living Social come from New York and other parts of Connecticut,” Angelo says. “Ours are definitely Fairfield County. Every email from us is relevant to you.”

He mentions the tanning salon Sunsations — with locations in Westport and Norwalk — and a ballroom dance studio (offering a perfect-for-Valentine’s Day discount) among the businesses with clear local appeal.

Angelo knows Fairfield County — and business. A 1994 graduate of Staples (where he served as football captain), he majored in accounting at the University of Buffalo. He went into tech sales, and helped build a pair of businesses:, a job search engine in Stamford, and, in Norwalk.

As a local company, Angelo says, FairfieldCoupon’s sales staff can personally talk to the businesses they solicit. “Groupon makes phone calls from Chicago or New York. If I call on a merchant and see he’s in an unsafe location, I won’t promote the deal.”

Angelo Zucaro

Businesses like physical therapists and personal trainers are good targets for his company. Restaurants, he says, are great — but difficult to get.

“They have fixed costs,” Angelo notes. “They want flexibility on our splits, and on what they can give the customer. But our consumer wants a 50% discount. We tell them there’s no upfront costs, and this is a way of getting their name out there.”

Sometimes that approach works. But to meet that demand, Angelo says, he may sometimes eat the cost himself.

Angelo admits, “we’re late in the game.” However, he says, “we’ll get a good following.”

If so, Groupon’s weak earnings may not be its only bad news.

5 responses to “County Coupon War Heats Up

  1. Longtime Westporter

    Welcome to the “game”, Angelo. I look forward to getting your Fairfield coupons (and we’re glad that isFairfield as in “county”, not just the “town”?).

    One misperception, however, is that Groupon and LivingSocial offer deals outside of Fairfield County. They do, but if I edit my profile to include ONLY Fairfield County, those are the only coupons I will get.

    Hope you’ll be able to get the restaurants but also local toy stores, delis, nail salons, etc.

  2. Angelo,

    It sounds great and I look forward to receiving your daily offers!

    To have a focus in our specific area will likely lead more people to try a place they might not have heard of before.

    knowing that your staff has local contacts in Fairfield County should give you an edge over some of the others doing this same thing.

    I hope that your offerings include a good variety of merchants!

    Best of luck to you!

  3. Even a 50/50 splt is starting to weaken. Consumers are getting discounts of 55% and more. Plus, everyone is getting into the act. The Norwalk Hour has deals, also. Aside from restaurants, most deals involve services, where providers offer their time or empty seats at a discount. What I would like to see is more prdouct discounts; for example, specialty food or clothing shops.

  4. The local ad game is a tough place to earn a living – 2nd place is set a steak knives. Good luck to you sir.

  5. I’ve unsubscribed to Groupon and Living Social after having tired of my email box being filled up with stuff I don’t want or use. They resembled online versions of ValuPaks, which are equally worthless. Good luck, Angelo. I hope your service offers products that I never knew I couldn’t live without.