Klarna releases The State of Smoooth: 2021 Reopening Insights Report as US shoppers emerge from lockdown

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Nearly 90% of shoppers will refresh their wardrobes as the US reopens, according to a new Klarna report detailing evolving consumer preferences and shopping behaviors

New York, NY (June 29, 2021) Klarna, the leading global payments provider, retail bank, and shopping service, today released its The State of Smoooth: 2021 Reopening Insights Report, exploring the current state of shopper preferences in the US across the fashion and apparel, beauty and wellness, events, fitness and outdoor, and travel sectors. The report, which features insights from consumer surveys, as well as Klarna’s proprietary shopping and app data, is designed to equip retailers and brands with key information needed to best serve consumers’ changing tastes and demands for the second half of 2021.


Fashion and Apparel

  • Shoppers are updating their closets: 89% of shoppers plan to refresh their wardrobe as the world reopens, by cleaning out their closets (72%), purchasing new accessories (59%), splurging on “going out” clothes (54%), and investing in new basics (54%). 
  • Monthly spending will spike: 89% of shoppers plan to spend more money on clothes now than they did throughout the pandemic, with one-third (33%) intending to spend $100–$250 more each month. 
  • Online shoppers and mindful spenders are here for the long haul...: 69% of shoppers say the pandemic changed their shopping habits, with 80% saying they now prefer to shop online, 74% now looking for flexible payment options, and 56% now looking for deals or coupons.
  • ...but brick-and-mortars still have a special allure: While plenty got comfortable browsing and buying online, the vast majority of shoppers (80%) also missed the in-person shopping experience—especially Gen Z and millennials. Younger shoppers (Gen Zers: 33%, Millennials: 27%) were more likely than older shoppers (Gen Xers: 23%, Baby Boomers: 22%) to miss in-person shopping “a ton.”

"After a lengthy lockdown, it doesn't come as a surprise that nearly 90% of consumers will update their wardrobes, to look their best as they return to work and social settings," said David Sykes, Head of North America, Klarna. "Given the rise of budget-conscious shoppers, retailers should consider implementing services that provide additional flexibility to consumers, including deals, rewards programs, or alternative payment options."


  • Livestream shopping events, poised to become a $25 billion industry by 2023 (Coresight Research), show promiseand older audiences are the early adopters: While only 25% of shoppers reported having attended a virtual livestream shopping event, 60% of shoppers who had tried it say that it improved their online shopping experience. Baby Boomers (28%) and Gen Xers (27%) are more likely to have participated in these events (Millennials: 23%, Gen Zers: 20%).
  • Shoppers are willing to spend more on in-person events: 69% of shoppers plan to attend in-person events within the next 6 months, and 70% are willing to spend more money to have great in-person experiences now compared to prior to the pandemic.
"Livestream shopping is a high-tech revamp for Baby Boomers and Gen Xers, who watched the meteoric rise of home shopping channels," said Sykes. “Though just a quarter of shoppers reported attending a virtual livestream shopping event, two-thirds of those who'd tried it say it enhanced their online shopping experience.

Testing the platform now before it becomes mainstream can help US brands develop a more loyal, engaged customer base across multiple demographics.”


  • Ready to travel, shoppers prioritize savings: 83% of shoppers plan to travel over the next 6 months, and more than three-quarters (78%) will be flying. The top considerations for travelers when booking trips this year are cost and budgeting options (74%), followed by having a positive experience (47%), and health requirements (38%), such as mask mandates, and vaccines. In addition, 62% of consumers take environmental impact into account when planning trips.

“For shoppers returning to travel, cost and budgeting are top priorities," said Sykes. "With that in mind, retailers should consider implementing loyalty programs and/or flexible payment options that enable consumers to achieve the most value from their trips."

Outdoor and Fitness

  • While at-home workouts remain popular, gyms and fitness classes are making a comeback: 86% of shoppers who worked out at home during the pandemic say they’ll continue to do so even as gyms and fitness centers reopen. But that doesn’t mean that shoppers will be missing their next group fitness classes: two-thirds (66%)—especially Gen Zers (71%) and Millennials (70%)—are excited to hit the gym or studio now that the world is reopening. Now that shoppers are headed back to the gym, nearly two-thirds (64%) say they need new fitness apparel ASAP. 

Beauty and Wellness

  • A return to glamour and good health: With more opportunities to get out and gather in person, nearly three-quarters (74%) of shoppers plan to spend more money on makeup than they did throughout lockdown. Going beyond cosmetics, 93% of shoppers are excited to invest more time and money in their health and wellness routine as the world reopens.

  • In-store beauty rebounds: While consumers embraced online shopping during lockdown, preference towards shopping for beauty items in-store is returning—and fast. In May, more people bought beauty products in physical stores (42%) than online (28%). This was up significantly compared to numbers in March, when the number of people who shopped in physical stores was equal to those buying online (26%).

To access the full findings, visit Klarna's The State of Smoooth: 2021 Reopening Insights Report  site.

Press Contact

Adaline Colton 

About Klarna

We make shopping smooth. With Klarna consumers can buy now and pay later, so they can get what they love today. Klarna’s offering to consumers and retailers include payments, social shopping, and personal finances. Over 250,000 retail partners, including H&M, IKEA, Expedia Group, Samsung, ASOS, Peloton, Abercrombie & Fitch, Nike and AliExpress have enabled Klarna’s innovative shopping experience online and in-store. Klarna is one of the most highly valued private fintechs globally with a valuation of $45.6 billion. Klarna was founded in 2005, has over 4,000 employees and is active in 17 countries. For more information, visit klarna.com.