By Tonya Whitaker
NDG Staff Writer
An oldie but goodie is back at Walmart just in time for the holiday season – layaway.
The world’s largest discount retailer announced last week starting Monday, Oct. 17, shoppers can begin shopping for Christmas gifts in the toys, electronics, and jewelry departments and put them on layaway for 10 percent of the total purchase price. A $5 service charge is applied each shopper’s layaway.
Daniel Morales, director of communication and community relations for Walmart, said the return of the layaway program is the retailer’s way to help
customers ease their budgets.
“Our customers told us that they want a layaway option for Christmas. We also know the holiday season brings additional financial pressure and our layaway program will provide a worry-free way for our customers to fulfill their families’ Christmas wish list.”
Layaway allows customers to put merchandise on hold and pay for the merchandise in installments until the full price of the items is paid in full. Once the layaway agree is fulfilled, the shopper is allowed to take the items home. However, there are more than a few requirements. According to Walmart’s website, the total merchandise purchase price must be more than $50 and each item must cost at least $15. Furthermore, online purchases are not eligible for layaway.
Shoppers must claim their layaway items by Dec. 16, otherwise the terms of the layaway are cancelled and the shopper will receive the payments made on the items, minus a $10 cancellation fee and the $5 service charge.
“We have learned that layaway enables customers to make payments when they want and for how much they want so they can focus on what’s important during the Christmas season instead of stressing over mandated payments and how to tuck money away for gifts,” Morales said.
Walmart, which did away with layaway in 2006, is not the only retailer to dig up the program. Sears Holdings, also owners of Kmart, brought layaways back to its stores in 2008 for back-to-school and holiday shopping seasons. Toys R Us also has a holiday layaway program for shoppers. DailyFinance reports Best Buy, Target, TJ Maxx, and Marshall’s also have the program.