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This Deals Startup Actually Has Game

Posted on 7.21.2011

A new company called Squarz says its goal is to change the way merchants view retail marketing and the way consumers view daily deals sites. Sound familiar?

Probably, with a new twist to daily deals cropping up almost every day now, but this one is legitimately twisted – not to mention highly innovative and equally intriguing.

Chicago-based Squarz merges savings, sweepstakes and sports into an opportunity for merchants to drive new customers to retail through compelling offers and valuable prizes. The patented technology allows Squarz to cut through an increasingly cluttered online savings environment with perhaps a stronger marketing message than the typical savings and deal sites.

Because consumers are engaged at more than just price point (Squarz also offers links to sports and big prizes), Squarz can offer opportunities to merchants that are more profitable in both the short and long term. And unlike other sites, it’s a win for both consumers and merchants.

When Squarz members purchase a deal, they also receive a 1-in-100 chance of winning a grand prize, typically offered by the same merchant. The winner of the prize is determined by a sports event, like in the traditional game of office squares. The patented Squarz Board is unique because the winner of each board is determined by the final score (or other pre-designated statistic), and uses a random generator to determine each square’s corresponding number prior to game start.

Each day Squarz showcases a variety of active deals that correspond to upcoming sporting events — there are grand prizes associated with each game.

“Squarz is a new take on retail marketing,” explains Chris Foufas, who founded Squarz. “The business model works to not only engage, incentivize and drive new customers, but can also be used to improve performance of existing customer databases with low click-through rates due to email fatigue. We’re working with local, regional and national merchants to develop win-win programs. Promotions that are profitable for our merchant partners and offer great prizes and create a fun experience that will return customers both to the Squarz site and to the retailer.”

Squarz is an example of the growing technology innovation culture being cultivated in Chicago, the most famous of its startups being the daily deals originator itself, Groupon. Lifelong Chicagoan and Squarz CEO Foufas has assembled a highly skilled team of professionals from technology, marketing and retail sectors including Squarz’s newly appointed CMO Joe Sciara, who has more than 20 years of experience in retail and sports marketing on a variety of national consumer brands.

Squarz has been in development for 18 months and is nearing the end of Beta testing, working primarily with Abt Electronics as a testing partner. Squarz is currently available only in Chicago with plans to expand to other major markets nationally over the next year.

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