Daily deals site Groupon has shut down operations in South Africa as the firm moves to streamline its operations, focus on its primary markets and turn to profitability.
In September last year, Groupon shut down operations in Morocco, Panama, The Philippines, Puerto Rico, Taiwan, Thailand and Uruguay and eliminated approximately 1,100 positions in its new focus on a few countries than dominate the world.
Groupon South Africa on its website announced, ”We are sorry to inform you that as of 4 November 2016 Groupon has wound down its operations in South Africa and we are unable to offer you any deals today.”
The firm added that it will stop offering deals on its website but all the current vouchers bought will remain valid until the date stated on the voucher. To customers who are uncomfortable with using their voucher, Groupon says it’s offering a cash refund option if they contact the firm before 30 Nov 2016.
Groupon will accept any returns before 30 November. Launched in 2010, Groupon South Africa featured daily deal on the best things to do, see, eat, and buy in a variety of cities across South Africa. The closure of the company comes at a time when its parent firm is trying to cut its operational costs and turn into profitability. Expanding globally doesn’t make sense at the moment when the firm is losing ground back home therefore it makes sense to shut down operations elsewhere and focus on a few markets where it can get return on investments.
Though this might be a loss for its customers, suppliers and employees, Groupon has built a daily deal culture in South Africa which will not stop with its exit. It’s exit might open more doors for local players as well see more new startups launch and serve this market.