Flash Sales/Deals Sites Add Staff at Blistering Pace

deals stats

Daily deals sites are expected to generate a whopping $2.7 billion in revenue this year, and new flash sales are popping up like daisies (recently both Facebook and Amazon entered the ring). So it should come as no surprise that these companies are hiring like crazy, too.

Some details of these sites’ staffing problems are so extreme, they’re almost funny:

  • Groupon is currently adding employees to its U.S. operation at a rate of 150 per month.
  • Groupon now has to hold new-employee training in a church basement since there’s no more space at the company’s Chicago headquarters.
  • In order to keep track of those 7,000 employees, Groupon hired a high-school yearbook publisher to put together an employee lookbook.
  • Flash sale site ideeli has so much new electronic equipment in its lower Manhattan office that the power supposedly goes out once a day.
  • LivingSocial’s Washington office ran out of room in two months, so some employees’ desks are in the hallway.
  • Deals site Thrillist Rewards is hiring for a dozen positions — including a recruiting for a recruiter.

While these stories are good for a quick laugh, the numbers these sites pull in are just astounding.  Here are some highlights:

  • Groupon went from 2 million subscribers to 85 million in the past year and a half.
  • Their next-largest competitor, LivingSocial, grew from 120,000 subscribers to 28 million in the same time period.
  • Since January 2010, traffic to Jetsetter (a luxury travel offshoot of Gilt Groupe) grew tenfold.
  • Since Nordstrom announced it would buy flash sale site Hautelook in Febuary, Hautelook’s traffic has grown by 15%.
  • Flash sale site ideeli (of the aforementioned electricity troubles) is on track to bring in $250 million in revenue this year, and has seen its membership triple over the past year.

All these massive numbers beg the question: Are we in a flash-sale-daily-discount bubble, or are these sites here to stay?  Since the user bases seem to be growing right along with the staffs, we’d venture to say the key players aren’t going anywhere.  It’s hard to put the toothpaste back in the tube, and now that consumers are used to being flooded with cut-rate options for pretty much everything, there seems to be ample use for all those new hires with hallway desks.