Americans More Likely to Buy Pole Dancing Classes Than Gym Memberships, Says LivingSocial

When there are discounts involved and only 24 hours to decide whether to buy, Americans are more likely to purchase pole dancing classes over gym memberships. They also opt for Mexican food more than sushi, and lasers rather than waxing for removing unwanted hair.

At least that’s what LivingSocial found after studying the four million daily deals it sold in the U.S. during the second quarter. The Washington, D.C.-based company, which is the second-largest provider of online deals in the U.S. after Groupon, segmented the vouchers into four broad categories: Beauty, food/dining out, fitness and entertainment.

LivingSocial said its most active members are based in its home town of Washington, D.C., but are also represented in California, New York, Texas and Florida.

Within the fitness category, yoga was by far the most flexible form of exercise, having sold 92,242 vouchers, followed by boot camp with 27,073 deals sold. But pole dancing beat out gym memberships for third place, with 19,972 vouchers sold versus 16,125 gym memberships.

The most popular beauty service is massage, with 154,085 selling in the second quarter. At that rate, massages outsold the top-selling item from each category. Within beauty, manicures and pedicures came in second, but sold less than half as many.

Mexican restaurants topped the food category, selling 107,159 vouchers, followed closely by pizzerias. Sushi restaurants came in third, selling 50,491.

In the entertainment category, golf shot to the top of the charts with 60,628 rounds sold (which translates to 1,091,304 holes, LivingSocial says). Boat cruises floated into second with 46,665 sold, followed by theater, wine tasting and cooking classes.

In contrast, Groupon revealed in its IPO filing that it offers roughly 140 different types of businesses, services and activities that fall into six broad categories. The following chart shows the percentage of deals offered worldwide across these categories in the first quarter of 2011:


Latest Video

View all videos »

Search »

The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald