(Photo by Flickr user Rocky A, used under a Creative Commons license)
D.C.’s erstwhile daily deals giant LivingSocial announced on Wednesday that it was cutting around 160 jobs. The layoffs include D.C.-based staff as well as the closure of an Arizona-based call center.
“The company will transition its customer service function to a U.S.-based service provider this spring,” LivingSocial said in a statement — which was headlined, “LivingSocial completes initial phase of turnaround.”
“LivingSocial is evolving from a multi-category, multi-country voucher-based business to a North America-based marketplace focused on experiential categories,” CEO Gautam Thakar said. “It has been a tougher journey than I would have liked.” A recent New York Times story, “LivingSocial Offers a Cautionary Tale to Today’s Unicorns,” profiled that journey.
The good news, according to the statement, is that the two pilot programs the company launched last year are showing initial success. This includes Restaurants Plus, a program that allows users to register a credit or debit card and earn cash back for dining out at participating establishments. Restaurants Plus launched in D.C. in November.
Employees impacted are being notified immediately, according to the company statement, and “will be offered severance packages, continuation of health benefits and outplacement support.”