Tonight at 6 pm at Portland Community College's CLIMB center on Southeast Water Street will host a forum for local business owners called the "changing face of retail."

The title is as dull as all-get-out, but if you're a retailer, this event may actually be worth your time. It was put together in part by Sarah Shaoul, owner of Black Wagon, a children's boutique on North Mississippi Ave. She's been trying to warn her neighbors away from national "daily deals" sites, whose terms are often unfavorable to merchants, as WW recently explained in depth.

The presenters will also discuss "group marketing" alternatives, such as the charmingly bootstrapped Portland-based Supportland network.

More details here.

Meanwhile, Groupon, the three-year-old granddaddy of the deals sites, is in trouble. Former salespeople are suing the company for failure to pay them, among other things. The company's public relations chief reportedly quit after just two months on the job on account of misgivings over a possible violation of federal securities trading rules by chief executive Andrew Mason. And Groupon's much-hyped initial public stock offering was put on hold—ostensibly due to market "volatility," but these numbers about the comany's performance may not have helped. The Chicago Tribune reports this morning that the IPO will happen, but not until later in the fall.