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Wal-Mart to Stop Offering Layaway

Written by Nickel - 9 Comments

This may be old news to some, but it was new to me… I was at Wal-Mart last night when I noticed a sign saying that they are phasing out layaway. If you’re not familiar with layaway, it refers to the ability of customers can ‘reserve’ a product at a store by making a deposit, paying it off over time, and then picking it up when the balance hits zero. I’m guessing this won’t have much impact on readers of this site, but Wal-Mart attributes the move to declining demand for their layaway service. While I wonder how true that really is, it wouldn’t be particularly surprising if the ready availability of credit cards has turned enticed customers who otherwise would have bought on layaway to buy now and pay later. Regardess of the cause, Wal-Mart is “easing the transition” by keeping their layaway service active through the holidays. In case you’re interested, you have until November 19th to put things on layaway, and everything has to be paid off by December 8th.

Published on November 2nd, 2006 - 9 Comments
Filed under: Miscellany

About the author: is the founder and editor-in-chief of this site. He's a thirty-something family man who has been writing about personal finance since 2005, and guess what? He's on Twitter!

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9 Responses to “Wal-Mart to Stop Offering Layaway”

  1. 1
    Debt Free Says:

    Wal-Mart keeps their margins so razor thin, the carrying and admin costs probably outweighed the additional business they gained from layaway. I suspect you’re 100% correct about the effect easy availability of credit cards these days on the layaway program as well. Now people are just paying 18%APR (a generalization, but many Wal-Mart customers probably can’t qualify for the best rates) on their purchases, instead of o%.

  2. 2
    SkyeBlue Says:

    I think it is a dumb move on their part. Most of the people who use layaway do it because they can’t afford to pay the full price all at once for expensive items. I think now that many people will chooose simply not to purchase an item at all since it can’t be put on layaway.

  3. 3
    Herb Says:

    Yeah, because nobody buys stuff they can’t afford to pay for right away.

    Layaway was big when I was a kid and it’s how I bought my first Transformer (the evil gun guy)!

  4. 4
    nightwing Says:

    Layaway is a lot less popular than when I was a kid. People are more savvy now. Lots of people were putting things on layaway and then when they finished paying it off they would ask for a credit if the item had since been marked down.

  5. 5
    Amy Says:

    JC Penney phased out layaway several years ago, I think it was in 2000, and at the time very few people were using it. I would guess that most people use a charge card or credit card, for the convenience of making payments at home rather than in person, the fact that you get your items right away, as well as the ubiquity of credit cards these days.

    And as nightwing said, back then we did have a lot of people returning things (swimsuits, winter coats, etc.) at the end of Layaway (layaway was a 3 month term) to rebuy them on clearance for 1/4 the price.

  6. 6
    CHRISTINE Says:

    i would like layaway back. i only shop there because there was layaway now that tere is no layaway i will not be shopping there any more.

  7. 7
    Bill Says:

    Bad timing for them to phase it out. With the economy crashing due to overuse and ease of obtaining credit, now it will be harder to obtain credit and more people will be willing to go back to the age old concept of paying for a product before receiving it.

  8. 8
    Jamie Says:

    I have been told that Kmart still has a layaway program, so I will be doing my 2009 Christmas shopping there. I normally do my shopping at Walmart, but I’m broke this year, so Kmart to the rescue!!!

  9. 9
    heidi Says:

    I was in wal-mart today,and I did not know layaway was no longer available. I have’nt bought anything including X-mas gifts for a couple of years. This year I figured I am doing a little better so I will put some gifts for this holiday in Layaway. Could’nt find it so I asked an employee. Well she was absolutely and totally rude to me, like I should’nt bother her with my trivial questions. Well I don’t think I’ll be shopping there anymore!!! K-mart will be getting my X-mas business from here on out.

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