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12/16/2021

Michaels offers flex payment option for online shoppers

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Michaels is accepting flexible online payments with Affirm.

The largest arts and crafts retail chain in North America is entering the burgeoning “buy now pay later” (BNPL) payment space.

The Michaels Companies Inc. is partnering with financial products and services company Affirm to enable qualified customers to pay for their online purchases over time, with monthly payments and no interest or late fees. Michaels is utilizing the Affirm Adaptive Checkout solution.

By selecting Affirm at online checkout, approved Michaels customers can split the total cost of any purchase over $50 into biweekly or monthly payments, for as low as 0% annual percentage rate (APR). Pay-over-time options range from four interest-free payments every other week, to monthly payments from three to 36 months.

Customers are shown the total cost of their purchase and will never pay more than what they agree to upfront, as Affirm does not charge late or hidden fees. 

According to recent data from eMarketer, Affirm holds a 13% share of the rapidly growing BNPL marketplace. The data also indicates that 45.1 million U.S consumers ages 14 and older will use a BNPL platform during 2021, up 81.2% from the previous year. This represents more than one-fifth (21.5%) of digital buyers in the U.S. By 2025, that figure will grow to more than one-third of U.S. digital buyers.

Younger consumers are driving adoption of flexible payments, eMarketer said. Millennials account for 42.7% of BNPL payment volume, followed by Gen Z shoppers, who account for 30.3%.

In addition, a June 2021 study from Juniper Research indicates BNPL is poised for rapid near-term growth. The study shows that spending via BNPL services which are integrated within e-commerce checkout options, including fixed installment plans and flexible credit accounts, will reach $995 billion in 2026, up 274% from $266 billion in 2021. 

Juniper Research analysis also indicates that BNPL growth will be fueled by a greater consumer appetite for credit to spread costs, particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, by 2026, BNPL services are expected to account for over 24% of global e-commerce transactions for physical goods by value, up from 9% in 2021.

“At Michaels, our customers are at the heart of everything we do.” said Heather Bennett, executive VP marketing and e-commerce at Michaels. “We believe there is room for all customers at our craft table and are thrilled to offer more flexible payment options through our partnership with Affirm, making arts and crafts more accessible and enabling even more customers to get everything they need to bring their projects and ideas to life at Michaels.”

“Michaels empowers anyone to become a Maker and express their creativity,” said Affirm chief commercial officer Silvija Martincevic. “Through this partnership, Affirm will provide even more customers with the flexibility to pay over time at the largest arts and crafts retailer in the country without any hidden gotchas or surprises.

Affirm is available now on Michaels.com and will be available in-store at Michaels locations across the country in the coming months.

Headquartered in Irving, Texas, The Michaels Companies Inc. operates 1,275 stores in 49 states and Canada and online at Michaels.com and Michaels.ca. In addition, The Michaels Companies Inc. owns Artistree, a manufacturer of custom and specialty framing merchandise.