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More Layoffs at Groupon, This Time at Flash Sale Site Ideel

Groupon laid off 39 people in the division, which amounts to at least 20 percent of the staff, according to sources.

Jason Del Rey has been a business journalist for 15 years and has covered Amazon, Walmart, and the e-commerce industry for the last decade. He was a senior correspondent at Vox.

In the same week that Groupon cut at least 20 percent of the staff in its restaurant software unit, it also announced cuts inside Ideel, its flash sale unit, multiple sources told Re/code and a spokesman confirmed. Groupon laid off 39 people in the division, a Department of Labor filing shows, which, according to sources, amounts to at least 20 percent of the staff.

Groupon acquired the heavily-funded fashion site, then known as Ideeli, for $43 million in a fire sale in 2014. Flash sale sites like Ideel and category leader Gilt — that sell a discounted item to thousands of subscribers in a limited time-window — have hit hard times as it becomes more difficult to break through the noise with email promotions and there is less high-end excess inventory to go around.

Earlier this week, Groupon cut 20 positions inside its Breadcrumb unit, which sells software that restaurants and other eateries use to accept payments and manage their businesses. Combined, the two groups of cuts indicate that Groupon is looking to cut costs in some of its non-core businesses. The company, once known exclusively for daily deals, is in the midst of a years-long attempt to transition from a deals company reliant on email to one that lures shoppers to its website frequently to buy products in addition to daily deals.

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