Meanwhile, PayPal acquires mobile payments firm Paydient.
The daily deal operator featured offers from companies like OfficeMax and Verizon Wireless.
LivingSocial sold roughly 150,000 “Black Friday” vouchers over the weekend, as the daily deal operator for the first time entered the day-after-Thanksgiving fray with offers from national retailers, magazine publishers and wireless carriers.
The daily deal operator rolled a set of nine offers for three days, starting on the day after Thanksgiving, commonly known as Black Friday. For instance, shoppers were able to buy a voucher for $20 worth of merchandise from OfficeMax Inc. for $10 that is redeemable at any of the retailer’s bricks-and-mortar stores or online. OfficeMax is No. 9 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide. Those national deals were a departure from the usual offers from LivingSocial and competitor Groupon, which mostly are for local businesses.
The push to feature national offers paid off as sales of vouchers over the weekend increased nearly 800% compared with the same period last year, says a LivingSocial spokeswoman.
LivingSocial sold 56,815 one-year magazine subscriptions for a number of Hearst Corp. magazine titles, including Elle, Esquire and Country Living. The deal, which cost $5, was the best selling offer of the weekend. Consumers also bought 41,094 OfficeMax vouchers and 24,463 vouchers for $50 worth of merchandise for $25 from Verizon Wireless.
Consumers can begin redeeming those vouchers today. By not allowing shoppers to use the vouchers over the holiday weekend, LivingSocial aimed to counteract the push to move the holiday shopping earlier. “We want to push spending beyond Black Friday," says the spokeswoman.
LivingSocial today released a second set of offers, such as $200 worth of merchandise at online jewelry retailer BlueNile.com for $100. Blue Nile is No. 60 in the Top 500 Guide. Those vouchers are redeemable tomorrow, and are good through Dec. 31
Following its Black Friday promotions, LivingSocial will launch its third-annual 12 Days of Giving campaign Dec. 5. During the campaign, which runs through Dec. 16, each of the daily deal operator’s offers is “giftable,” says the spokeswoman. LivingSocial also donates 1% of its proceeds during the campaign to charity.