Living Social laid off 400 employees this week– roughly 10% of it’s global workforce. With Groupon’s stock price tanking throughout 2012, it’s fair to wonder if the daily deals party is over. A quick survey of the Lab’s employees indicates that while people still use the sites, they’re increasingly turned off by sketchy deals and the saturation of offer emails and companies in the space. From the perspective of big brands, there’s also concerns that slashing prices too deeply will undercut reputation.
AMEX Leverages Purchase History and Location In Daily Deals
When I ran in to a friend on the subway this morning who came straight from the gym, I asked a standard question but got a very surprising answer.
ME: What gym do you go to?
FRIEND: Well, it changes. Groupon has so many fitness deals that I keep switching gyms and saving money.
It turns out that if you live in New York City, since last September you could have purchased an entire year’s worth of gym trials on Groupon for $177, and that includes… wait for it… 5 personal training sessions. You’d be saving $1,323 and going to three very reputable gyms that are conveniently located (no Staten Island trips necessary!). Since September of 2011, your Groupon fitness options included Gold’s, Sheraton Fitness, Synergy Fitness, New York Sports Club, and Crunch—and that doesn’t even include the daily deals possibilities on Living Social and other sites.
My friend calls this “Groupon Surfing” and I suspect he’s one of many doing it, though it’s hard to say how many. I imagine that on the whole there are many more Grouponers that fall in love with one gym by their apartment and stick with it, but it’s always interesting to see how people find loopholes and opportunities in the system.
The Groupon Surfer is really the ultimate bargain hunter, willing to go to great lengths to mash-up related deals into one monster deal. Rare as that may be, for critics crying that Groupon carries more risk than reward, Groupon Surfing may be another demerit to add to the list.