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In a tumultuous economy like ours, many Americans rely on store layaways to get their holiday shopping done. Luckily for them, many big name stores are making it easier each year, recognizing that most people aren’t able to spend at least twice their normal budget one month out of the year. With layaway you can choose the products you want and pay for them over a two to three month period of time, no credit necessary. After a five year hiatus Walmart is bringing back their holiday layaway for the second year in a row — and it’s better than ever.
This year, Walmart layaway will begin on September 16, a whole month earlier than last year’s October 17 debut date. This gives shoppers even more time to pay off their holiday shopping bills, and Walmart even more time to promote their holiday shopping deals. Even better, if you “like” Walmart on Facebook you can start layaway two days earlier, on September 14.
“The customer was saying if they had two more pay cycles that really would be helpful for them,” Walmart U.S. Chief Merchandising and Marketing Officer Duncan Mac Naughton told Reuters.
This year Walmart has done away with the $10 cancellation fee it imposed last year, and instead is requiring a $15 fee to sign-up, $10 more than last year. If the layaway is paid in full by December 14, customers will receive a $15 Walmart gift card, effectively making up for the sign-up fee. If the customer does not pay in full, they will simply lose their $15 sign-up fee.
Walmart shoppers will cheer when they hear they have expanded the variety of products available for layaway. Customers may now add small home appliances and certain sporting goods in addition to toys, electronics, and jewelry.
Other improvements by Walmart include the ability to pay at the checkout counter rather than the service desk when making purchases. Customers must still visit the service desk to sign-up, but then may make payments at regular cash registers throughout the cycle. Walmart will also try to coordinate with shoppers through email or phone calls to set up times to pick up merchandise.
Customers are still required to spend at least $50 to sign up for layaway, and every item must cost $15 or more. The down payment stays the same at 10% or $10, whichever is greater.
Other popular stores that allowed layaway last year include Toys R Us, Best Buy, Kmart, Marshall’s, Sears, T.J. Maxx, and Big Lots.
Do you rely on layaway for your holiday shopping? What do you think about Walmart’s new policies? Let us know in the comments below?
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