As the daily deal industry struggles, one business in the space has given a large swath of its employees a not-so-good deal.
It was announced yesterday (Oct. 14) that LivingSocial is laying off about 200 members of its workforce — one-fifth of its entire staff in the U.S., reducing that total from approximately 1,000 employees to about 800.
According to The Washington Business Journal, the layoffs will affect about 30 people at the company’s Washington, D.C. headquarters, and approximately 50 at LivingSocial’s office and call center in Tucson, Arizona. The remainder of the terminated employees work either in small offices or in their homes throughout the U.S.
The restructuring is part of LivingSocial’s expressed goal to move away from a traditional daily deal model — i.e., one that offers a limited volume of a reduced-price item for a limited time frame — and toward one that focuses on improving the customer experience in daily online transactions.
"This action is difficult,” said company CEO Gautam Thakar in a statement, “yet it allows us to operate more efficiently, while focusing our investments into accelerating progress toward our mission of becoming a leading experiences marketplace.”
LivingSocial spokeswoman Sara Parker additionally told The WBJ that the layoffs are representative of the company’s strategy to employ fewer staff working from home and more on company sites.
"The cuts are across the board,” she said. “This is really about allocating resources toward the right priorities. We have some pilots that are new to market, but we need more progress more quickly."
While Parker added that LivingSocial has no current plans for additional layoffs or reorganization, The WBJ points out that the company laid off 400 employees in 2012, and then an additional 400 last year.
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