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This article was published on July 26, 2011

Daily deal website expands to Victoria

Daily deal website expands to Victoria
Mike Vardy
Story by

Mike Vardy

Mike Vardy is a husband, father, independent writer, speaker, podcaster and "productivityist". He is also the author of the book, The Front Mike Vardy is a husband, father, independent writer, speaker, podcaster and "productivityist". He is also the author of the book, The Front Nine: How To Start The Year You Want Anytime You Want, published by Diversion Books. You can learn more about his other work at his website,, visit his blog at, and you can follow him as @mikevardy on Twitter.

As the daily deal phenomenon continues to grow, so does its expansion into different markets. Today, the first, largest and fastest-growing independently owned Canadian team-buying website, has launched in Victoria, BC — its 16th Canadian city to date.

“One of the main reasons we went with Victoria because of the success we’ve seen in Vancouver,” said Ghassan Halazan, CEO of when reached to comment on this story. “Obviously the promxity there (from Vancouver to Victoria) gave us enough of a precedent to notice that a number of signups were coming from the Victoria area and that users requesting that we get going there.”

Victoria has a Groupon portal (as well as other smaller daily deal sites such as Ethical Deal and Couvon), but the Toronto-based clearly believes that the capital city of British Columbia is a market that was ripe for what it has to offer, despite a lot of competition in what is considered to be a small market.

“We know that it’s a smaller city compared to others where we’ve launched in terms of population,” Halazon explained. “But the more research we did there the more we found it was a compelling area for ‘Mom & Pops’ and local businesses, which is really what this model is about — introducing customers to merchants on a local basis is at the heart of’s offering.”

With the addition of Victoria to its growing list of Canadian markets, is available in Brampton, Calgary, Edmonton, Halifax, Hamilton, Kitchener-Waterloo, London, Mississauga, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver, Winnipeg and the Ontario regions of York and Durham. has grown quickly since its launch in October 2009, and with an appearance on the popular CBC television show Dragon’s Den in September 2010 to further augment the coffers it plans to add more markets in the near future.

The team has pegged Kimberly Hebert, to manage the Victoria portal, and as with every city in which the company operates, there will be a minimum of 2 representatives “on the ground”.

“As a West Coast city with amazing attractions, Victoria is a Canadian hot spot,” said Hebert. “We can’t wait to show people there a side of the city they haven’t seen before!”

Halazon believes that having a team based in each city gives them an advantage over much of the competition, as it conveys a “personal touch” that others just can’t offer.

“That’s part of our strategy,” Halazon stated. “Having somebody that merchants can shake hands with and relate to. And we have the resources and the infrastructure to serve these merchants at volume.”

Residents of Victoria (and the whole of Vancouver Island and Gulf Islands) who subscribe to will receive an additional 20 per cent off their first purchase until Sunday, July 31 – Simply use the promo code SaveInVictoria during the check-out process to redeem the savings.

With Rogers launching its own daily deal service this week and the daily deal sector growing in leaps in bounds, certainly isn’t going to stand by on the sidelines and watch. It’s going to hit the ground running — both literally and figuratively — in what is a very crowded and competitive field.