Fly Bird had flocks of happy customers.
But now that the Lake Street store has closed its doors, owner Julia Nash is throwing down the gauntlet against Groupon, saying the daily deal site was partly to blame for sluggish business at her beloved store, according to a Wednesday Journal story.
Nash told Wednesday Journal the store participated in a $15 for $30 worth of merchandise Groupon offer in fall 2010.
Was it successful? That depends on whether you're the bargain-seeking customer, or the store owner who realizes you've parted with your inventory for half-price.
Nash has said many of the first-time customers who dropped by the store never came back. Which is a conundrum for small business owners that aren't in, say, restaurants, where Groupon-toting patrons may be pleasantly surprised by a meal and return later, sans Groupon.
Looks like that wasn't the case at Fly Bird, which made its eight-year run in Oak Park selling kitschy trinkets.
As a recent Onion A.V. Club article notes, "in the late-2010 economy, it’s not hard to imagine fewer people were dishing out the dollars for quirky Jesus ashtrays and the like."
All of which raises the question: If you're a local business owner, how are you navigating the dearth of daily deals? Have you found a secret sauce that makes it work? Or are they more hassle then they're worth?
Full disclosure: Patch offers a daily deal product, which is sold by our local advertising managers.