Just a few years ago, layaway programs were not in favor with most retailers.
The payment program had fallen out of favor with the vast majority of shoppers, and only a few retailers thought layaway was worth the time and hassle to keep it alive.
However last year, layaway programs made a strong comeback among many retailers, especially Sears and K-mart, when they declared their National Layaway Week to help kick off the 2011 holiday shopping season. This year layaway programs are in high demand with stores, some programs even started early as September this year. Layaway competition is fierce this year, as major retailers like Toys R Us and Walmart have been heavily advertising their layaway programs leading up to the 2012 holiday season.
Earlier in September, Toys R Us announced that they would waive fees making its layaway service free for shoppers until October 31, but now the retailer has now decided to extend their layaway plan to December 16th due to seeing its popularity with customers. Walmart and K-mart both ante up their layaway programs as well. K-mart waived fees for shoppers and Walmart reduced their upfront fee from $15 to $5. Since the American economy is still putting a serious burden on American family incomes, retailers are hoping to make the holiday months easier, offering you several layaway options this year. Like last year, we’ve listed several stores and their layaway plans to aid you in purchasing your holiday items over time. Most of the stores are similar to last year, but some stores have changed their fees from last year due to the high popularity of layaway this year.
Sears has free layaway for the holidays and no service fee. This offer is valid on new layaway purchases made on September 29th through October 29th and November 2nd through December 3rd only.
Sears Layaway Program
Sears Layaway facts
At Best Buy, you must pay a 25% initial down payment, plus a 5% nonrefundable layaway fee. Items must total $250 or more. Then, you will be issued a Best Buy layaway card which you can use toward any future payments you might have. Payments must be made every two weeks until your balance is paid.
Best Buy Layaway Plan
K-Mart layaway is available online and in store, but all orders must be picked up in store. You have the option of doing 8-week or 12-week layaway. There is a $15 or 10% down payment and a $5 service fee.
K-Mart Layaway program
At TJ-Maxx, they hold layaway items for up to 30 days with a minimum down payment of $10 or 10% and charge a $5 non-refundable service fee. The payment amounts and fees vary by state. Note that jewelry and clearance items are not eligible for layaway. If you decided to cancel your layaway, some TJ Maxx stores also require a $5 cancellation fee.
TJ-Maxx Layaway policy
Burlington Coat Factory
Burlington Coat Factory’s Layaway is 60 days. There is a 20% down payment and then an additional 20% is due within 14 days of the initial payment. Your balance must be paid within the 60 days. There also is a $5 service fee and a $10 cancellation fee.
Burlington Coat Factory’s Layaway Policy (Click on the “Layaway Policy” link under “Helpful Links”)
Walmart holiday layaway is from September 16th to December 14th on items like toys, electronics, refrigerators, and jewelry. Layaway at Walmart is not available online. The down payment is $10 or 10%, and the $5 service fee is refundable to a Walmart gift card upon your full payment. Layaway items are initiated and picked up from the Walmart.com service desk.
Walmart Layaway Program
Marshall’s holds layaway items up to 30 days, with a down payment of $10 or 10% and a non-refundable $5 service fee. The down payment and service fee may vary by state. Please note that jewelry, clearance, food items and furniture cannot be placed on layaway.
Marshall’s Layaway policy
HSN has a layaway plan called Flexpay, where you can divide the cost of your purchase into as many as five equal monthly payments. HSN does not charge any interest or fees.
HSN Flexpay layaway
As we stated last year, we think that layaway is a bad consumer decision. You should save money yourself and make the same purchase without paying a store fee. However, if you choose to use layaway this holiday season, we want to make sure that you have the best options available.