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Groupon offered fireworks deal as coronavirus forced Independence Day cancellations

Shawn M. Carter

A fireworks' deal briefly lit up on Groupon.

The e-commerce website offered sparkler discounts as cities throughout the United States reported spikes in use amid coronavirus shutdowns. Ohio-based Phantom Fireworks, which has locations throughout the country, advertised a $129 36-shot fireworks box for $40, the Washington Post reported.

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“Three months ago, when we closed all of our retail units, we feared the worst,” William Weimer, the company’s vice president and general counsel, said in the report, recalling his outlook on the future of his business after the outbreak. “And then when we reopened, which would have been mid-May, I have to admit, we were totally shocked at the volume of customers.”

The voucher is no longer available on Groupon and it isn’t clear if the discount correlated to an increase in sales, but many recent customers were first-time buyers.

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Almost 80 percent of firework revenue is associated with July 4th celebrations, according to the American Pyrotechnics Association. Many of those celebrations were canceled because of the pandemic.

Shares of Groupon were up about 6 percent Wednesday afternoon and they have risen 34 percent in the last three months, but they haven’t quite blasted off. The stock is down 68 percent on the year.

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