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Bakery loses thousands on Groupon


UPI News Service, 11/23/2011 

A British bakery owner said she lost thousands of dollars and her business was nearly destroyed when she offered a 75 percent discount on Groupon.

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Rachel Brown, owner of the Need a Cake bakery in Reading, England, said she offered a deal on the Web site for users to receive a $40 dozen cupcakes for only $10 and she was shocked when 8,500 people quickly signed up for the deal, The Daily Telegraph reported Wednesday.

Brown said she took a loss of between $3.88 and $4.65 on each order and had to spend $13,389 on shipping and extra workers to handle the orders.

"It's been an absolute nightmare," Brown said.

She said she had only expected a few hundred orders from Groupon users and described joining the Web site as "without doubt, the worst ever business decision I have made."

"We had thousands and thousands (of orders) pouring in. We had to cut it off at 8,500 orders. As soon as we were making, packaging and sending the cakes out we were on to the next order. It was non-stop," Brown said.

"We take pride in making cakes of exceptional quality but I had to bring in agency staff on top of my usual staff, who had nowhere near the same skills. I was very worried about standards dropping and hated the thought of letting anybody down."


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