Merchants from Wal-Mart to small indie shops are adopting the daily-deal models launched by Groupon, spurring one Advertising Age writer to wonder what will become of the original when everyone else starts doing the same thing. One way the fast-growing Groupon has begun adding value is by branching out beyond its core local deals to offer some high-profile national promotions with large merchants, beginning with a highly successful partnership with Gap earlier this year.

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