Walmart Sweetens the Pot for Holiday Layaway Shoppers

Walmart (WMT) is offering a better deal to layaway shoppers this coming holiday season, the latest sign that pay-in-installment programs continue to see a revival among retail chains.

The nation's biggest retailer, which resumed layaway last year after ditching it in 2006, will refund shoppers their $15 sign-up fee in the form of a Wal-Mart gift card when they make their final payment installment.

Layaway at Walmart will be available nationwide on Sept. 16 -- a full month earlier than last year -- through December 14. That means shoppers will have "two additional pay cycles to pay for their purchases," Deborah Weinswig, a Citi retail analyst, said in a research note.

What's more, the retailer is giving its 19 million-plus Facebook fans a two-day head start on their layaway purchases. On September 14, shoppers can click on their local Wal-Mart Facebook page, "like" the retailer, and put items on layaway.

Sign of the Times

Retailers have been playing up layaway to coax purchases out of shoppers battle-scarred by the nation's prolonged economic funk.

In June, Sears (SHLD) introduced a layaway vacation site,

But the pay-as-you-go option really got rolling last holiday season, as retailers including Toys R Us enhanced their layaway programs just as Wal-Mart got back into the game.

The discounter's enhanced layaway program comes as Walmart's low- and moderate-income shoppers continue to struggle.

"I don't think the economy's helping us," Charles M. Holley Jr., Walmart's chief financial officer, said during a conference call last week to review the retailer's second-quarter performance. Shoppers are still fretting over high unemployment, steep gas prices and surging food prices, he said. "If anything, our consumer's probably being a little more stretched."

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Hi Kathy & Dean

Shoppers: Use yor smarts, who is the BIG winner here? You? Of Wal-mart and your declining financial situation?

August 22 2012 at 8:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Layaway sucks once the shopper-addict completes the process then the shopper no longer wants the items. Best way to buy as you go.

August 22 2012 at 6:10 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Wwhatever747's comment

Thats too will be on a fixed income some day.

August 22 2012 at 6:34 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
MR weaver king

boy the huffington post is kissing some walmart ars alot these days

August 22 2012 at 6:09 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to MR weaver king's comment

Not sure what huffpost has to do with this article...but OK, whatever.

August 22 2012 at 6:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Hi Kathy & Dean

What did you expect since HP censors only allow favoritable comments to be aired.

August 22 2012 at 8:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Linda Coons

Be nice to remember that KMart continued to offer lay away long before Walmart came back into the game. I just now read other comments lol that say the same....but come on give credit where it is due, for helping us the middle class and poor with lay a ways long before Walmart. Good job KMart

August 22 2012 at 4:49 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Hi Gram, Ty&Dill

Support K Mart, they never got rid of thier lay a way. Walmart isn't bringing it back for the convenience of the customers, they want the $$$ they lost to Kmart. I haven't been in Walmart since they ended layaway, have no intention of going back. Sure haven't missed that place either.

August 22 2012 at 1:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Hi Gram, Ty&Dill's comment
Hi Kathy & Dean

WE MISS K-MART BADLY! In our area we have Wal-mart shoved at us. With a side dish of Target.

August 22 2012 at 8:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

They never should've gotten rid of it in the first place if you ask me. There are other events that people want to buy big purchases other than Christmas.

August 22 2012 at 12:13 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

I'm from the old school. My parents always did layaway. It was the best thing for them. It was easy to get what was needed and you had at least 2 months to get it out. I raised my 3 sons on layaway also. All stores should have it like they use to have. Its hard out here everyone does not have credit cards to shop.

August 22 2012 at 12:06 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to carba15's comment
Hi Kathy & Dean

Yes, the good old days without corporate greedy giants. My folks did the same providing for their family withou providing extra profits to cash bloated companies.

August 22 2012 at 8:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I was hoping that they wiould bring back layaway - that way, I can get the kids the electronics that they want, and pay over time, and by the time I need it, everything will be paid off!

August 22 2012 at 11:25 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

China-Mart wants to get the good old days of "consumption" back on track. Personally, I'm not big on China-Mart I believe they are part of the problem but they have convinced many they are the savior.

August 22 2012 at 12:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to kafienkarl's comment

Doesn't matter what stores do to draw sales, the oil mongers are back out in force, will not buy anything unless absolutely neccessary!

August 21 2012 at 3:42 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to l07hye's comment
Hi Kathy & Dean

WRONG! They will BUY because they buy anything to get rid of their obscenely gross overpricing and profiteering.

August 22 2012 at 8:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply