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The Conference Room

Good Sales Just Around Corner for Local Merchants, Says Retail Startup

The Conference Room FOXBusiness

Spring-Rebound Prediction for Retail founders Kara Kaplan and Jen Morris offer strategies for business leaders.

The cold winter was filled with chilly sales data – but one entrepreneur says retailers will soon have their day in the sun.

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“Essentially I see, for the merchants we’re going after -- they really are starting to see things pick up,” says co-founder Kara Kaplan, despite March’s disappointing retail numbers. is an online marketplace where consumers can purchase digital gift cards for local businesses. Co-founder Jen Morris says the company launched a beta version of the site in November 2011, and re-launched in 2012 in Chicago and New York City.

Kaplan says the site is targeted toward local businesses that may not be huge online, but want to have a digital presence. She adds that a lot of neighborhood shops were being presented with discount deal opportunities (on sites such as Groupon or Living Social) that weren’t really working out for them.

“When you give someone a gift, it’s obviously a reflection on you, and you don’t want to be known as a cheap gift giver or a tacky gift giver,” Kaplan told FBN’s Jeff Flock.

Despite the slow-moving economy, Morris says has been able to flourish, because they know their potential target.

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“We offer more than just gift cards, we do the marketing for them that they don’t have to do,” adds Morris.

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