London, 14 February 2019 — Today, Klarna has confirmed its eight finalists for the recently launched ‘Smoooth Stores’ initiative. After scouring the UK and encouraging businesses to put themselves forward, Klarna has found the best of the best retail SMEs, bringing them together for the final of its latest competition.
Since the competition closed In January, a judging panel headed up by fashion and retail titans Hugo Taylor and Millie Mackintosh have whittled down the finalists. The businesses selected range from fashion boutiques to interior design, and are based all over the UK.
The next step for the successful retailers will be meeting one of Klarna’s brand ambassadors and creating a short video about their business. These videos will launch in March on klarna.com/uk where voting will be open for the general public as the battle to be named the UK’s ‘Smooothest store’ continues.
The eight finalists are:
Britannical is a luxury children’s outerwear brand that handcrafts all of its pieces ethically in the heart of London, using the finest natural materials.
Where fashion meets art, Carloe London creates quality leather bags in a range of colours, with colour combined purses and interchangeable straps allowing the customer to curate their own look.
Built on the ethos of bringing the beautiful natural world indoors, Charlotte Jade’s hand drawn plant, floral and animal themed designs are available on luxury wallpaper, cushions, upholstery fabrics, ceramic tiles and many more.
Setting out to demystify jargon around bedding and towels, Dip & Doze deliver products that don’t cost the earth, either figuratively and literally, by balancing price with beauty, function and sustainability.
Born from scrap leather in the furniture industry, the Hand Dyed Shoe Co is changing the way the world buys shoes by offering a unique experience and service from start to finish.
Mikaela Lyons launched her first collection – featuring the symbol of a lioness – in November 2017 and continues to create ethical and sustainable jewellery, all handmade and hallmarked in the UK.
Founded by two sisters living on opposite sides of the world, Mustard Made creates powder coated steel storage lockers that bring a touch of soft industrial, practical storage to real homes.
Unique printed and plain silk dresses which mix elements of traditional Scandinavian design with a contemporary urban vibe, Valle & Vik draws on the founder’s background in fine art, fashion and her Norwegian heritage.
Millie Mackintosh, commented:
I love the variety of different businesses that were uncovered in the submission phase and now I’m excited to head out and get to know the owners, their inspiration and understand the businesses that bit better. I can’t wait to see who the public vote as their favourite when the next stage of the competition opens up – I’m hoping that you’ll make one of my brands the winner!
Hugo Taylor, added:
The eight shortlisted brands are all exciting in their own way and are getting off to a great start. I am looking forward to discussing the challenges that my businesses are facing at the moment, and understanding how the Smoooth Stores prize would really support them.
Luke Griffiths, General Manager at Klarna UK, commented:
The ‘start-up’ mentality is in our blood here at Klarna. We love to see businesses being successful, and doing things differently, whether that’s in their marketing, the products they sell or just the passions and personalities of the people fronting them. The competition so far has been an amazing exploration into the UK’s thriving SME retail scene. With mentoring, funding, financial advice and free use of our Buy now, Pay later product we can’t wait to find our winner, and make their path to success a little bit ‘smooother’.
– ENDS –
Notes to editor:
The winner will receive:
- Mentoring from Klarna senior executives who are industry leaders in their fields, they will offer advice and guidance on how to grow the winning brand
- £10,000 cash prize, along with guidance on the best way to spend the money to ensure growth
- Free use of Klarna’s Pay later service for 12 months, giving customers access to Buy now, Pay later services in the UK
- For more information, visit: https://www.klarna.com/uk/smoooth-stores
Electra Gerolymbou/ Chantal Swainston, firstlight PR,
+44 20 3617 7240
It’s all about smoooth (yes, with 3 ooo’s). Klarna is Europe’s leading payments provider and a newly-licensed bank, which wants to revolutionise the payment experience for shoppers and merchants alike. Founded in Stockholm, Sweden, in 2005, the fintech unicorn gives online consumers the option to pay now, pay later or over time – offering a trusted, frictionless and smoooth checkout experience.
Klarna now works with 100,000 merchants, including ASOS, Topshop, H&M and JD Sports in the UK, to offer payment solutions to users across Europe and North America. Klarna has 2,000 employees and is active in 14 countries.