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Google Offers makes bid for L.A. market

The Web giant's first local bargain is a discount package for Grauman's Chinese Theatre, and it plans to beat competitors in the crowded deals market with offers tailored to subscribers' profiles.

November 09, 2011|By Andrea Chang, Los Angeles Times

Google Offers, the search engine giant's daily deals site, launched in Los Angeles and four other markets Wednesday.

For its first deal in Los Angeles, Google is offering two movie tickets and a large popcorn at Grauman's Chinese Theatre or Chinese 6 Theatres in Hollywood — up to a $39 value — for $14.

Google Offers launched in June in Portland, Ore., and has since expanded to markets such as San Francisco, San Diego, New York City, Boston and Washington, D.C.

Like other daily deals sites, Google Offers will target users with limited-time-only deals based on their stated interests, with discounts of 50% or more.

The daily deals market is crowded, with services such as Groupon, LivingSocial and AmazonLocal bombarding users' inboxes with discounts for yoga classes, sushi dinners, teeth-whitening treatments and spa packages.

Despite the competition, which some analysts have said is already too stiff, Google Offers plans to outperform its rivals by integrating deals throughout its products, said Eric Rosenblum, director of product management for Google Offers. The company also seeks to improve personalization of the offers it sends to subscribers, increasing the chances that they will accept the deals.

"Consumers want more relevant deals; it's certainly obvious, but it's hard to do," Rosenblum said. "We think we're going to have a lot more deal density and more relevance."

Wednesday's movie tickets and popcorn offer is the first daily deal ever made for Grauman's Chinese Theatre and Chinese 6 Theatres, said Alwyn Hight Kushner, director of operations for Chinese Theatres.

She said the company had discussed the possibility of doing a daily deal with other services, but ultimately chose to go with Google because it's "a big trusted brand and big household name."

"We like the idea of being the first in Los Angeles with Google as opposed to being one of 100 deals this week" with a rival site, she said. "It's great exposure for our business."

In addition to Los Angeles, Google Offers became available Wednesday in Atlanta, Brooklyn, N.Y., Chicago and Houston.

To subscribe to Google Offers, consumers can visit http://www.google.com/offers and sign in with their Google accounts.

andrea.chang@latimes.com

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