Groupon Thailand shuts down, company cuts jobs globally

Groupon Inc, the daily deals website, has shut down its operation in Thailand while the company prepares to cut about 1,100 jobs globally as it restructures outside of North America.

Groupon Thailand announced this morning that the site shut down yesterday because the company doesn’t see any potential for profits in the near future.

“We have thoroughly examined the global footprint and the relation between the market potential and fund needed for investment. As we do not see the target that will lead us to profits in the near future, we have made a decision to end our operation [in Thailand,]” the statement said.

Vouchers for “local & getaway” deals, which are mainly hotels and tour packages, are still valid until the expiration date on the coupon, but customers are free to contact the company for a refund before Dec. 31.

For inquiries about refunds or products awaiting shipping, customers can contact Groupon by email before Oct. 31.

Besides Thailand, Groupon is shutting operations in Morocco, Panama, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Taiwan, and Uruguay after exiting Greece and Turkey, the company said in a separate blog post on Tuesday.

Groupon, which had about 11,800 employees globally at the end of December, said that it expected to complete the job cuts, mainly in sales and customer service, by September 2016.

A strong dollar has hurt companies with a large presence in markets outside the United States.

Markets outside North America accounted for about 43 percent of Groupon’s revenue in 2014.

The company said in April it would sell a 46 percent stake in its South Korean business as part of its turnaround efforts.

“I think it’s actually a good thing for investors to hear that they’re taking some more cuts out of their international operations,” Topeka Capital Markets analyst Blake Harper said.

Groupon, once the leader in the online coupons market, has also been struggling to boost sales as competitive deals on online marketplaces operated by Inc and eBay Inc make its coupons less attractive to shoppers.

Up to Monday’s close, its stock had fallen 79 percent since November 2011, when the company went public in what was then the largest initial public offering by a U.S. Internet company after Google Inc’s listing.

Story: Reuters/ Coconuts Bangkok


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