Amazon to shut down its ‘daily deals’ site “Amazon Local”
Amazon is exiting the daily deals space. According to a message now being displayed on the Amazon Local homepage, the company’s deals platform is closing up shop on December 18, 2015. At that point, Amazon will stop selling deals via the website and in the Amazon Local mobile app. Customers who have already bought deals, however, will still be able to use them, the company notes.
The shutdown is not surprising, given the downturn occurring in the once-buzzy daily deals market. Case in point: Washington-based local deals platform LivingSocial, which is also partly owned by Amazon, announced this month that it’s laying off 200 people, or 20 percent of its staff, as it moves away from the deals model to focus instead on “experiences.”
In addition, Groupon, which has been trying to expand into more diverse offerings around local commerce, announced 1,100 layoffs in September at the cost of $35 million, and the closure of operations in several non-U.S. markets.
Given Amazon was not even the go-to destination associated with daily deals, it’s not likely its platform was seeing much success.
GeekWire was first to spot the closure, noting also that after the Dec. 18th deadline, users will no longer be able to download or install the Amazon Local app if they uninstall it or switch devices.
Asked for comment on the new closure, an Amazon spokesperson offered a similar explanation, saying only that:
Effective December 18, 2015, we will stop selling Amazon Local daily deals. 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.
From today until the date of the shutdown, Amazon will clear out its inventory and continue to sell deals, and customers will be able to use both the site and app as usual. These vouchers will be able to be redeemed after Amazon Local closes, as the website itself will remain online so users can continue to access their used and unused vouchers, Amazon explains.
While Amazon will no longer directly run a daily deals platform, it will still offer “deals” of some sort via the main Amazon.com website. That is, the company says that its Deal of the Day, Gold Box Deals and Kindle Daily Deals will not be affected by Amazon Local’s shutdown.
In addition, the company says that it’s not existing local commerce entirely – Amazon Home Services, a sort of Angie’s list-like service for finding local pros, remains online, and it’s continuing to work with local restaurants through Amazon Prime Now.
The move to get out of the daily deals business follows the closure of Amazon Destinations earlier this month. The site offered Amazon shoppers the ability to find deals on hotels within driving distance of their current location – that is, “weekend getaways.” At the time, Amazon only offered a vague statement about how it “learned a lot” about the deals business, but had decided to discontinue operations.