While perusing The Wisdom Journal, I ran across an article predicting the return of layaway. For those of you that aren’t familiar with the concept of layaway, it refers to the service where customers are allowed to ‘reserve’ a product at a store by making a deposit, paying off the purchase price over time, and then picking up the item when the balance hits zero. It’s a bit like a highly targeted savings account.
While layaway used to be a big deal, it seems to have fallen into disfavor in recent years. In fact, Wal-Mart ended their layaway program two years ago. But now that credit is hard to come by and the economy is stumbling into oblivion, layaway is apparently back in vogue. In fact, retailers including K-Mart, TJ Maxx, Burlington Coat Factory, and Sears are pushing layaway as an alternative to credit cards.
It’ll be interesting to see if this catches on. As far as I’m concerned, anything that encourages people to actually pay for things before taking possession of them is a good idea.