Groupon Turns to Citydeal Team to Rectify Slow Growth

Groupon has selected Christopher Muhr as its sales chief, taking over from Darren Schwartz, according to Reuter’s newswire.

Christopher Muhr
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Groupon needs to boost its domestic sales ahead of its public offering. The daily deals website is turning to executives from Citydeal, the European business it purchased last year, to rectify the slowing growth in its domestic business.

Groupon has selected Christopher Muhr as its sales chief, taking over from Darren Schwartz, according to Reuter’s newswire.

Muhr will be packing his bags and moving from London where he was managing director of Groupon U.K. (Citydeal). Tapping into Groupon’s solid international team is a smart solution to help mature its domestic market.

Groupon holds the position as the #1 daily deals site. But how long will it hold its position?

In June, Groupon filed to raise up to $750 million in an IPO, and is forecasted to be one of the highest profiled new listings of 2011. But, Groupon has been scrutinized in the last three months, costing the company’s valuation to drop 20 percent at $16 billion in the latest private auction of shares, according to brokerage Wedbush Securities. Wedbush partly attributes that on the market slump, still slowing sales growth is a concern.

Second-quarter revenue was up 36 percent, which is down from the 63 percent increase it posted in the first quarter. The company closed the second quarter with just over 115 million subscribers, an increase of 32.6 million subscribers. However, Wedbush stated the numbers were “disappointing.” Revenue per subscriber dropped 12 percent to $8.57 in North America.

It is in the U.S. where most of the slowdown in growth has occurred. I can see why the company would turn to their U.K. office for help. Teaming up with Muhr are members of the international management team. Fellow Citydeal co-founders Rajen Ruparell, Emanuel Stehle and Jens Hutzschenreuter are packing their bags as well and should be arriving at Groupon’s Chicago headquarters soon, according to Reuter.