Layaway Taking Off For Big Retailers In SF
by Jill Johnson
November 16, 2012 5:37 PM
Layaway first became popular during the Great Depression, but thanks to credit cards, it slowly became a thing of the past. That is, until the economy took a turn for the worst in 2008. Ever since, retailers like Kmart and Toys "R" Us have expanded their programs, especially during the holiday season.
Toys "R" Us Store Manager TJ Cameron said, "Our layaway program is driving a lot of sales this year."
Like for many major retailers, the concept of layaway has been driving sales at the Toys "R" Us in Sioux Falls.
Cameron said, "We've got storage trailors out back full of layaway. We've got carts and boxes everywhere."
Whatever it is, a gaming system or a even a Furby, you have the option of putting it on layaway. At Toys "R" Us' you are required to put 20 percent of the total price of your order down. You must pay half of the total price of your order within 45 days and it must be paid in full BY 90 days. You also have to pick up your order by Dec. 16.
Cameron said, "Super convenient because, you know the way the economy has been over the last couple of years, I think it's been really, really good for our customers to be able to put 'em aside and save a little bit at a time."
Like Toys "R" Us, Kmart has offered a layaway program for years.
Kmart Store Manager Duane Johnson said, "Our layaway program has been extremely popular, it's another option for customers to use via credit, via cash."
The store offers it year round, but come Christmas time, it's more popular than ever.
Johnson said, "Large items are very popular, obviously toy items are very popular. Anything that you can hide or need to hide for Christmas."
So popular, that the number of people putting items on layaway has increased by 40 percent over the last two years alone.
As a part of Kmart's program, you must put 10 percent down. If you're order is more than $300, there's a 12 week contract in which you must make six payments. Anything less, you're put on an eight week program and must make four payments.
"We do have quite a few people that need this to be able to make ends meet on a regular basis and we've recognized that for many years and we've chosen to step forward and offer that plan to our customers." said Johnson.
Every week for ten weeks Kmart is also paying off one customer's layaway of up to $500.
Sears and Walmart are among the big retailers who are also offering layaway this holiday season.