- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 28, 2012

In another sign of the troubles faced by once-hot Internet daily deal sites, Washington-based LivingSocial could be the latest such company to announce layoffs. The company is planning to layoff as many as 400 workers, according to a report from The Washington Business Journal Wednesday.

LivingSocial’s job cuts will span across the U.S., including some here in the District, where the company has six offices, the Journal reported. The company declined to comment on the report.

Earlier in the month, Groupon, the original daily deal company and LivingSocial’s largest competitor, announced 80 layoffs. That came the same week in which the company reported disappointing revenue numbers that caused the stock to fall sharply and raised questions among investors about the company’s long-term viability.

The Business Journal reported LivingSocial’s workforce had already fallen from about 5,000 at the beginning of 2012 to approximately 4,500 now. In the third quarter, the company lost $566 million on revenues of $124 million.

Many of these daily deal websites are too similar and are, therefore, struggling to differentiate themselves, according to Larry Chiagouris, a marketing professor at Pace University.

“To the consumer they all look alike,” he said. “The consumer doesn’t see major distinctions between a Groupon deal and a LivingSocial deal. It’s a problem for all of them.”