Research Outline

Success During a Recession


To find companies that were successful during a recession.

Early Findings


  • Groupon, a Chicago-based company, was founded in November 2008, in the middle of the Great Recession in the US.
  • Their business model was perfect for the time as it provided customers with daily deals on non-esential items such as hotels, spas, and museums.
  • Groupon's deals also provided numerous non-essential businesses with an inexpensive way to generate new interest and customers.
  • Because of their great position, the company was able to expand to over 35 countries and generate over $500 million in net profits two years after its inception.
  • The company also rejected a $6 billion buyout from Google in early 2010 because of its strong position in the market.


  • Panera, a St. Louis-based bakery-cafe, was founded in 1987.
  • During the Great Recession, while most of the restaurants in the US and Canada saw a decrease in the number of visitors and diminished profits, the Panera's share price grew by 26% between 2008 and 2009.
  • The reason behind that was the aggressive strategy implemented by the company's CEO, Ronald Shaich.
  • He decided to take advantage of the low cost of rent and real estate to open 191 locations in 40 states of the US and Ontario, Canada.
  • They also put a much bigger emphasis on their digital strategies and the promotion of clean and organic food.