Amazon's Groupon Clone, Amazon Local, Is Closing Down: Here's Why


The daily deals space has turned out not to be a good deal after all.

Case in point: Groupon, one of the pioneers in the industry, cut 1,100 jobs and closed up shop in seven of its international markets in Morocco, Panama, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Taiwan, Thailand, and Uruguay all in a single month during September.

LivingSocial, a Groupon clone that found some traction during the early prime years of the daily deals industry, announced that it too would be slimming down its entire staff by as much as 20 percent. Partly owned by Amazon after a $200 million investment from the e-commerce juggernaut, LivingSocial is ditching the daily deals model and is shifting to a focus on "experiences" instead.

Now Amazon is letting go of its daily deals offering, Amazon Local, and is also shutting down the accompanying Amazon Local app. According to a statement on the company's website, Dec. 18, 2015 will mark Amazon's departure from the daily deals market. However, the service will continue to exist until that date and all vouchers purchased between Oct. 30 and Dec. 18 will still be valid according to the terms stated in each deal.

"We've learned a great deal from the daily deals business and will look for ways to apply these lessons in the future as we continue to innovate on behalf of our customers and merchants," a company spokesperson remarked.

The Amazon Local service is currently operating in 40 markets across the United States. Besides the usual discounts on food, vacations, entertainment and more, Amazon Local even allowed customers in Seattle to order food for takeout. Once the clock strikes Dec. 18 though, customers "will no longer be able to reinstall or download the Amazon Local app if you switch devices or uninstall the app."

Seattlelittes who have gotten used to ordering their Chinese takeout via the Amazon Local app need not fret over its end since Amazon recently rolled out its new Prime Now restaurant delivery service instead. Nonetheless, Amazon's departure from the daily deals market either means it couldn't compete with Groupon or that the industry itself has nowhere else to go but down.

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