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    Groupon cuts over 500 staff as the downturn takes its tolll

    Chicago-based Groupon today laid off more than 500 of its employees, according to posts from former employees on social media. The reduction impacted workers in teams including merchant development, sales, recruiting, engineering, product, and marketing as well as public relations.

    TechCrunch reached out to the company for comment but did not yet hear back at time of publication.

    Coupon-finding Groupon has grown to have steep e-commerce competition since its founding in 2011. Rakuten and Honey, which sit on consumer’s browsers to scour the internet to show related deals, have grown into massive companies. All the platforms make money from affiliate fees and revenue-share partnerships, meaning the more competitors, the bigger the fight for customer acquisition.

    Add in the fact that e-commerce tailwinds have changed as consumer spending changes in reaction to the market downturn, and it’s a hard time to be a growth-stage startup.

    Over the past few years, the number of Groupon shoppers has fallen sharply. According to Statista, 22.2 million visitors to the company’s site purchased at least one offer in Q1 2022, down from nearly 54 million in Q4 2014.

    The layoffs, while substantial, aren’t as large as the cuts Groupon made to its workforce in 2020. In April of that year, Groupon said it would lay off or furlough 2,800 employees as business “deteriorated” from the COVID-19 pandemic. Following the restructuring, Groupon phased down its goods category as it shifted to a third-party marketplace model, which had merchants assume responsibility for fulfillment and returns.

    According to its jobs page, Groupon has openings for 67 roles in teams across account management, engineering, software development and more. The company is trading at $13.89 at time of publication, down 67% from its 52-week high of 41.66.

    It’s likely no coincidence that the layoffs arrived ahead of the release of Groupon’s Q2 2022 financial results this afternoon. The company’s 2021 revenue was $1 billion, down 32% compared with $1.4 billion in 2020.

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