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Brief Published: 2 Dec 2020

Klarna’s Prototype Multipurpose Parcel Locker for Brands

Klarna's Modular Mailbox

Catering to the Covid-accelerated e-commerce boom, Swedish payment solutions provider Klarna has reimagined the parcel locker, prototyping a special modular system. Primarily designed for parcel delivery, the Modular Mailbox is also capable of serving the sharing economy and helping consumers to recycle, as it can be changed according to fluctuating consumer behaviours.

The Modular Mailbox, which is part of the Klarna Future Shopping Lab – an ongoing research programme exploring future shopping experiences – is a large, brightly coloured structure comprising various compartments designed to serve different purposes.

As well as storing parcels for pick-up or collection, it can be equipped with sharing boxes, allowing locals to pool resources such as tools, books or even food at their own convenience, without having to ensure a neighbour is at home. Additionally, a recycling module allows consumers to dispose of hard-to-process materials such as fabric or plastic. It’s capable of compressing material for collection, which a regular delivery truck can then drop at the correct recycling facility.

Klarna says that it could work with real estate companies to install the concept in apartment buildings or shopping centres. It also suggests that partner brands (of which Klarna has 200,000 worldwide, including H&M, Nike and Samsung) could develop branded modules. This could lead to fresh produce lockers, or a mini boutique which displays product from a new collection, for example.

The prototype locker is the latest project to sit outside of the brand’s core fintech business, following its launch of shoppable wish lists – see A (Covid) Christmas Like No Other: Key Brand Steers. These initiatives indicate that Klarna is aiming to infiltrate the e-commerce ecosystem beyond payment solutions.

The Modular Mailbox is one of the latest innovations in collection-and-delivery-based service design. Posti, the Finnish postal service, created a multipurpose space earlier in 2020, catering to click-and-collect culture and the booming resales economy. The lounge meets activity centre features unboxing stations, dressing rooms and a recycling point. For more, see Euroshop 2020: Upgrading Space and Service Design.