Seattle area startups refine the daily-deals model

 
 

While
scrutiny over daily deals has been generating headlines recently, the digital
coupon craze is here to stay. Even as Groupon finds itself in the midst of an SEC investigation of its profit metrics, other companies are plowing ahead with offerings that tweak the model
somewhat.

Seattle-based ChoozOn aggregates
coupons to help consumers cut through the clutter in their in-boxes. ChoozOn’s
site was launched in April and the company has just secured its first round of
angel funding. Meanwhile, Kirkland’s
Pirq launched Thursday morning, addressing redemption concerns
associated with the current daily deals model.

ChoozOn integrates social
networking into its site by creating “deal clubs” in which users can
bargain hunt together. “Choozers” can follow what others are shopping for and
make recommendations of products.

Pirq users
are told about deals near them based on cellphone GPS tracking. They then
“commit” to deals nearby, and scan a Microsoft Tag with their mobile devices.
The deal is redeemed on the spot.

Many
merchants have complained about delayed or duplicate redemption of daily-deal
coupons as well as a lack of repeat business. Pirq’s model tries to eliminate
these hassles. It also controls traffic flow to a business by limiting the
hours during which deals are offered and redeemed.

Pirq’s new
app benefits the company as well: While deeply discounted deals often have
companies like Groupon borrowing against themselves, the instant redemption
feature of Pirq protects Pirq as well as merchants.

In contrast
with ChoozOn, which tailors deals to users based on their brand preferences,
Pirq focuses on proximity-based deals, taking advantage of GPS tracking through
mobile devices.

Making use of this smartphone feature
is the latest trend in the daily deal and app world: Even Groupon’s founders
are hopping on board, investing in WhosHere, a social media app that lets users
text-message nearby strangers.

Shopping from phones is another
emerging trend. “By 2015 consumers will spend about $119 billion on goods and
services bought via their mobile phones,” says James Sun, CEO of Pirq.

The 2016 Washington Manufacturing Awards: Legacy Award

The 2016 Washington Manufacturing Awards: Legacy Award

Winner: Belshaw Adamatic Bakery Group
| FROM THE PRINT EDITION |
 
 
 
Legacy Award
Belshaw Adamatic Bakery Group
Auburn › belshaw-adamatic.com
When it’s time to make doughnuts — or loaves of bread, or sheets of rolls — it could well be a Belshaw Adamatic piece of equipment that’s turning out the baked goods. From a 120,000-square-foot plant in Auburn, Belshaw Adamatic produces the ovens, fryers, conveyors and specialty equipment like jelly injectors used by wholesale and retail bakeries.
 
The firm’s two legacy companies — Belshaw started in 1923, Adamatic in 1962 — combined forces in 2007. Italy’s Ali Group North America is the parent.
 
It it takes work to maintain a legacy. A months-long strike in 2013 damaged morale and forced a leadership change. Frank Chandler was named president and CEO of Belshaw Adamatic in September 2013. The company has since strived to mend workplace relationships while also introducing a stream of new products, such as a convection oven, the BX Eco-touch, with energy saving features and steam injection that can be programmed for precise times in baking. The company energetically describes it as “an oven that saves time, reduces errors, makes an awesome product, and is fun to use and depend on every day!”
 
So far, more than 3,000 have been installed in quick-service restaurants, bakeries, cafés and supermarkets in the United States. They are the legacy of Thomas and Walter Belshaw, former builders of marine engines, who began producing patented manual and automated doughnut-making machines in Seattle 90 years ago. They sold thousands worldwide and, today, Belshaw Adamatic is the nation’s largest maker and distributor of doughnut-making equipment.