Discount publisher Groupon has announced further cuts to its operation after a recent cull of 1,100 employees and numerous office closures.
The service will no longer be available in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland after hard economic times left Groupon to take stern action in parts where business had been slow.
It carries a serious impact for Groupon’s global footprint, which has been cut down to size this year. In what has been described as an effort to “simplify and streamline” the company, its service has been taken offline in Morocco, Panama, Puerto Rico, Taiwan, Thailand, Uruguay and The Philippines in addition to Greece and Turkey.
As early as 2010, experts have picked up on the company’s ability to thrive in its native US but struggle to break even in foreign markets, despite its aggressive expansion.
Groupon takes action
Although still carrying some considerable presence around the world, and remaining strong in the US, Groupon is continuing to drastically change its business in many ways.
Analysis from TechCrunch outlines the fact that Groupon, as a publically listed company, is now far more accountable for any losses it makes, which has potentially led to closures in markets where it has struggled to take off.
The company bolstered its European presence back in 2010 with the purchase of fellow coupon provider CityDeal from Rocket Internet. Its acquisition was live in 16 operations, including Sweden, and provided Groupon with a solid foundation on which to build its European arm.
It seems part of that legacy has been lost in an attempt to balance the books, as Sweden became one of the latest casualties of the group’s streamlining efforts.
Recent communications from Groupon stresses the company’s intention to move away from being a daily deal specialist and into a more encompassing role as ‘e-commerce platform’. The site hit a peak in active customers last year, reaching 53.9 million in Q4 2014, but is yet to get above 48.6 million in 2015.
Revenue also remained fairly flat in Q3 2015, dropping from $714.3 million down to $713.6 million year on year.
However, in figures which exclude an “unfavourable impact” in foreign exchange rates, a 11% rise in earnings across North America compared to a 2% lift in EMEA and a 5% decline in other markets showed where Groupon had been struggling.
In the US, the company is continuing to broaden its horizons – announcing a new food delivery service in August which delivered 10% cashback to every customer. Other trials from the company include an Apple Watch app and feature which allows retailers to set up their very own store on the Groupon site.