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10/06/2021

Simon malls to offer in-store flex payments

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Simon and Klarna are partnering to enable ‘buy now pay later’ services at stores in Simon malls.

Another major shopping center operator is entering a partnership with a provider of buy now, pay later flexible installment payments.

Simon is teaming up with global retail bank, payments and shopping service Klarna in a strategic national alliance and multi-year relationship that will provide customers in Simon shopping destinations with access to Klarna’s in-store payment solutions.

Klarna’s flexible payment options will be made available to shoppers at participating retailers across the entire Simon portfolio. Additionally, Klarna will bring a suite of performance-based digital marketing capabilities to physical retailers in Simon centers and collaborate with Simon on marketing campaigns, in-mall activations, and communication programs designed to raise awareness with shoppers over time.  

This partnership follows a previous BNPL initiative that included Klarna and a Simon-backed venture. In May 2021, Authentic Brands Group (ABG) and its partner Sparc Group, which is backed by Simon subsidiary Simon Property Group, rolled out “Pay in 4” services from Klarna at the e-commerce sites of Aéropostale, Nautica, Nine West, and Brooks Brothers. Customers can now shop online at those four retailers with Klarna’s four interest-free installments.

As the partnership rolls out, Klarna’s flexible “buy now pay later” services will become available across the e-commerce sites of all ABG and Sparc’s 30-plus brands. The portfolio includes retailers such as Eddie Bauer, Lucky Brand, and Forever 21.

In addition, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (URW), owner of Simon rival Westfield shopping centers in the U.S., entered an integrated, multi-year national partnership with BNPL provider Afterpay in July 2021. URW seeks to offer consumers a more flexible way to pay for their purchases as they return to shopping in stores.

Through this partnership, URW and Afterpay will jointly invest in new customer experiences, retail innovation, events, marketing and on-premise advertising at Westfield shopping centers. The joint activity will initially extend to Westfield centers in the U.S., with plans to take the partnership global in the coming months.

“Identifying ways that support the success of our merchants while elevating the customer shopping experience are key priorities for Simon,” said David Simon, chairman, CEO and president, Simon. “By aligning with Klarna, we’re giving our retail tenants an important advantage this holiday season and well into the future; a unique way to attract new audiences already embracing the convenience that Klarna’s interest-free payment options provide.”

“Simon connects millions of consumers with merchants in truly meaningful and engaging ways that are reimagining experiences far beyond the expected, every day,” said Sebastian Siemiatkowski, CEO, Klarna. “With recent news reports stating that retail traffic is expected to exceed 2019 levels once again, we’re thrilled to partner with Simon to further unlock in-store revenue and loyalty for retailers, and offer customers even more ways to shop and pay how they want.”

Klarna and Simon said they are also working on additional strategic initiatives, which will be announced and rolled out in the future.

Simon is a real estate investment trust engaged in the ownership of premier shopping, dining, entertainment and mixed-use destinations and Simon Property Group, with properties across North America, Europe and Asia.