Klarna, the global banking, payments and shopping service, teamed up with Brookfield Properties in a multiyear partnership to “exclusively offer Klarna’s in-store alternative payment solutions and bring experiential marketing to Brookfield Properties’ nationwide portfolio of more than 150 U.S. shopping centers, elevating the in-store shopping experience for millions of customers annually,” the company said.
Klarna said it is being accomplished through innovative activations, “including out-of-home media, livestream shopping, augmented reality, and more.”
The partnership was announced as traffic patterns across Brookfield Properties’ portfolio of properties “have returned to historical norms, indicating that consumers are ready and excited to shop in person again,” the company said, adding that the 2021 holiday season generated “nearly 95 percent of 2019 traffic at Brookfield Properties shopping centers, compared to the national average of 78 percent of pre-pandemic traffic.”
“These trends only strengthen the narrative that brick-and-mortar is alive and well,” the firm noted.
Katie Kurtz, senior vice president of business development at Brookfield Properties, said the “way our customers shop changes constantly and it is our job to evolve with them. This is something Brookfield Properties does really well. This is a natural match for us and we look forward to offering Klarna’s services to our shopping center communities.”
Meanwhile, Klarna’s 2021 holiday report revealed that physical retail “remains a high priority for shoppers, especially with younger consumers who noted the importance of speed and efficiency that comes with in-store shopping.”
David Sykes, head of North America for Klarna, said Brookfield Properties “is transforming the shopping experience by blending the physical and digital worlds to meet today’s customers where they are.”
Klarna said its in-store services are accelerating rapidly, “with nearly 80,000 physical retail stores globally, and live in-store with Klarna at participating Brookfield Properties tenants such as H&M, Ralph Lauren, Sephora, Abercrombie & Fitch, and thousands more.”
When asked about the value proposition for Brookfield and its retail tenants, Sykes reiterated that physical retail remains a high priority for shoppers, and said this was especially true “with younger audiences who prefer speed and efficiency that comes with in-store shopping experiences.”
“By leveraging Klarna’s in-store alternative payment solutions and digital marketing services, Brookfield Properties and its retail tenants can increase foot traffic into stores, drive consumer loyalty, and unlock Klarna’s large, engaged audience of over 25 million consumers in the U.S., 100 million globally,” he noted.
For consumers, Sykes said shopping at Brookfield Properties’ shopping centers “will now have the option to access Klarna’s in-store payment options at participating retailers, offering a more convenient and flexible way to shop and pay in-store, interest-free.”
“Consumers will also have opportunities to experience innovative activations such as livestream shopping, augmented reality events, and more, which creates omnichannel experiences that combine their digital and physical shopping,” Sykes told WWD.
Regarding how the in-store shopping experience has changed, Sykes said over the last year, “consumers have shifted to shopping online more than ever, which drove demand in alternative payment services like Klarna. While online shopping will continue to remain strong, the in-store experience is just as important for shoppers who want an emotional and physical element to the shopping journey.”
“Traffic patterns across Brookfield Properties’ portfolio of properties have returned to historical norms, and industry data suggests that consumers are ready and excited to shop in-person again,” he said. “Retailers that offer an omnichannel experience for consumers will best cater to growing demand for seamless online and in-store shopping experiences.”