Klarna last week announced an agreement with GameStop to provide interest-free installment payments on purchases. The service will now be available to GameStop's in-store, mobile and online customers, according to a press release.
The payments platform also hosted a gaming event series called Playing for Keeps, which featured GameStop and was streamed via Twitch. The event, which took place on Oct. 27 and Oct. 29, allowed gamers to play against professional gamers, catch guest celebrity appearances and buy GameStop products using special promo codes and shoppable gaming wishlists, the company said.
Spending on video game brands jumped 117% in March compared to February, according to Klarna. Overall, the platform reported a 13% increase from March to July in computer software store spending.
As government officials implemented shelter-in-place orders in March, consumers pivoted to gaming as a source of entertainment, Klarna's data suggests. According to the platform's data, the company saw a 180% single-day spike in March among video game brands.
Klarna's decision to partner with GameStop stemmed in part from ongoing growth in the gaming market as well as gaming's influence on mainstream culture, David Sykes, head of U.S. at Klarna, said in a statement. For GameStop, offering installment payments to in-store and online consumers is part of its efforts to provide more service options to consumers ahead of the holiday season and beyond, Chris Homeister, chief merchandising officer for GameStop, said in a statement.
GameStop stands alongside a growing list of companies, including Google, Macy's and Etsy, that have worked with the alternative payments platform. In early October, Macy's invested an undisclosed amount in Klarna and announced a five-year deal with the platform to let its customers pay for purchases in four interest-free installments.
Like retailers across other segments, the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted GameStop's physical store operations and catalyzed exponential growth in its online business, giving the once struggling retailer much-needed support. In June, the gaming retailer's e-commerce revenue sales spiked 519%, but by the fall the retailer announced plans to close between 400 and 450 stores globally. Its partnership with Klarna follows its October deal with Microsoft to update its retail infrastructure and improve its digital and physical video game selection.