Away, the high-flying travel brand startup, just furloughed half its employees and laid off 10%

Pretty much everyone is getting socked by the COVID-19 shutdown. Among the latest to say so in a public way is Away, the trendy, five-year-old, New York-based travel brand that has raised roughly $180 million from investors over the years, including a $100 million round last year that pegged the company’s valuation at $1.4 billion…

Away, the high-flying travel brand startup, just furloughed half its employees and laid off 10%

Pretty much everyone is getting socked by the COVID-19 shutdown. Among the latest to say so in a public way is Away, the trendy, five-year-old, New York-based travel brand that has raised roughly $180 million from investors over the years, including a $100 million round last year that pegged the company’s valuation at $1.4 billion — nearly three times where it was valued a year earlier.
With travel down nearly 100% as the coronavirus makes its way across the U.S. and world, the company has seen sales of its product fall off a cliff, say company founders Steph Korey and Jen Rubio in a new Medium post. Specifically, they disclosed today, sales of their luggage, bags and interior organizers have fallen by more than 90% over the past few weeks.
The company, which began as a direct-to-consumer brand, first took steps to reduce its burn rate by shuttering its now 10 retail stores, while paying its retail teams “during what we hoped would be short-term closures.”
Unsurprisingly, given that human capital is typically a company’s biggest cost center, that strategy didn’t go far enough, so the company is having to furlough “about half” of its team and it’s laying off another 10%, it says.
“This was a devastating decision and one we considered only as a last resort,” say Korey and Rubio in their post. “The pride we onc
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