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As COVID-19 kills wedding plans, Zola cuts salaries and lays off 20% of staff

As COVID-19 kills wedding plans, Zola cuts salaries and lays off 20% of staff
[Photo: Nathan Dumlao/Unsplash]

As we come into wedding season, which traditionally spans springtime and summertime, wedding-related companies are losing revenue over droves of postponements and cancellations due to COVID-19—including Zola, the e-commerce and registry website whose slogan is “the home of all things wedding.”

On Wednesday, Zola said it would be laying off 20% of its staff, cutting salaries across the board, and transitioning the majority of its remaining employees to a four-day workweek, a spokesperson confirmed to Fast Company.

“This pandemic has transformed the 2020 wedding season in a way that we could never have anticipated,” said the spokesperson in an email. “Until just a few weeks ago, all indicators pointed to tremendous growth this year, but the unfortunate reality is that our growth is tied to people having weddings, and weddings are delayed until later in 2020. Right now, couples are not contacting us to place an order for a gift or thank-you card. But they are calling us to help with wording their change-the-date cards, adding a COVID-19 banner to their wedding website, and notifying their friends, family, and vendors about their date delay.”

While the wedding industry is historically considered recession-proof, the circumstances of a global pandemic are different, as group gatherings are now a public safety hazard. According to wedding planners The Knot Worldwide, tens of thousands of couples have called off celebrations this spring.

But don’t worry, love isn’t dead! People are still saying “I do”—just not in the next few months. Zola’s spokesperson cited company data that “99% of couples who have had to change their plans due to COVID-19 still plan to get married” and “79% of couples who were planning to get married in April and May have already rebooked for a later date.”

Zola also added that it’s seeing an unexpected uptick in customers requesting “trip inspiration” in the website’s honeymoon corner—perhaps as they dream of a future in paradise, far from the devastation of COVID-19.

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