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Google offers daily deals in Chicago

Google is stepping in on Groupon's hometown. The online search engine is offering daily deals for the first time in Chicago Wednesday.

It's calling the program Google Offers. The company kicks off its daily deals with $20 worth of drinks and food for half the price at Goose Island in Wrigleyville. Google first launched its own online coupon program this past spring in Portland, Oregon. The move came after Groupon rejected Google's bid to acquire the original online coupon company.

Sucharita Mulpuru is an analyst with Forrester Research.

"I don't think that I'd be quaking in my boots if I were Groupon," she said. "They've had lots of competition in Chicago. They've had many other players set up shop there. The reality is that Groupon has a pretty sizeable lead among the daily deals players."

Mulpuru said Groupon has its own issues to work out like adding value to the company and growing its merchant and customer base independent of any competition.

Eric Rosenblum, the director of product management for Google Offers, said Google's daily deals are different because they will offer more variety in deals through different partnerships, but also by personalizing the way people receive the deals. Rosenblum said offers will be made through Google searches and maps and not just by email or mobile alerts.

On the merchant end, Rosenblum said Google is investing a lot in redemption tracking. The company is researching how many customers return to the business and how much they spend while they're there.

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