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Today In Retail: Simon CEO Says Malls Mistreated During COVID; BigCommerce Names Preferred BNPL Provider

In today’s top retail news, Simon Property Group CEO David Simon says the mall is a safe place to be despite a rise in COVID-19 cases across the U.S., while BigCommerce and Sezzle are making buy now, pay later (BNPL) news — albeit on a smaller scale than some other companies (looking at you, Square and Afterpay). Also, Under Armour’s eCommerce sales dropped 18 percent last quarter even as the company beat analysts’ expectations.

Simon Property CEO Says ‘The Mall Is Safe’ Amid Rising Concerns Over Delta Variant

Despite concerns that the spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant could impact consumer spending as pandemic anxiety rises again and mask mandates are reintroduced across the U.S., mall operator Simon Property Group is pushing forward as demand for leases increases. Executives told investors and analysts that even in places that have seen an uptick in COVID, no coronavirus cases have been reported from retailers or staff at Simon Property’s malls.

BigCommerce Taps Sezzle As Preferred Provider Amid Rising BNPL Demand

BigCommerce has named Sezzle as its preferred BNPL provider amid growing demand for the payment option. The partnership won’t remove other BNPL companies from BigCommerce, as the platform has several merchants that request specific BNPL providers, but will allow BigCommerce to recommend Sezzle to merchants who don’t have a preference. The news comes just days after Square announced plans to acquire Afterpay for $29 billion.

Under Armour Beats Q2 Expectations Despite eCommerce Drop

Under Armour reported a better-than-expected 91 percent increase in year-to-year revenue in the second quarter, to $1.4 billion, despite an 18 percent fall in eCommerce sales in the quarter. President and CEO Patrik Frisk said the quarterly results show “solid progress” compared to the past two years, and with most of the company’s restructuring plans completed, Under Armour has “a robust foundation” for its next chapter.

AI Integration With Email Marketing Could Reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment

Merchants that use artificial intelligence (AI) software Fast Simon will now be able to integrate insights from the platform into email marketing campaigns through marketing automation program Klaviyo. The partnership is meant to give merchants personalized recommendations for retargeting customers who abandoned their initial purchases or may be interested in purchasing additional items.

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