LivingSocial office spaces in Washington D.C.
Astrid Riecken—The Washington Post via Getty Images

Will it be enough to save the former daily deals sensation?

By Kia Kokalitcheva
March 16, 2016

More major layoffs have hit LivingSocial, the once-buzzy e-commerce site.

On Wednesday, the Washington, D.C.-based company announced major workforce changes, including the layoffs of about 160 employees and the shuttering of its Tuscon, Ariz.-based call center later this spring, adding another 120 employees to its cuts. LivingSocial plans to outsource those customer service operations to an unnamed provider in New Jersey, according to TechCrunch.

The cuts represent a workforce reduction of more than 50%, according to a LivingSocial spokeswoman.

The downsizing is part of what LivingSocial describes as “the initial phase of our turnaround.” LivingSocial started out in 2007 as Hungry Machine, and in 2009 shifted its focus to daily deals, squarely competing with Groupon at the time.

 

Since then, it has suffered a major business downturn. Last October, it laid off 200 employees, and a year before that, cut 400. The company is also shifting away from daily deals to focus on new products such as the “card-linked” concept it has been experimenting with for beauty and restaurant merchants. After a customer links their credit card details to a particular offer, the discounts are redeemed when they use that card at the restaurant or merchant instead of paying for it in advance.

LivingSocial’s current CEO Gautam Thakar took over the role in mid-2014 from eBay where he ran the company’s advertising business and was CEO of Shopping.com.

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