Layaway is Back!

Troubled economy has retailers bringing back layaway

With everyone trying to stay on budget, many shoppers are happy to see retailers reviving an old payment strategy…layaway.

K-Mart has been offering layaway for 40 years, but other retailers who dropped the service in the past, are bringing it back.

Customers hope the low-cost budgeting program will help them get the gifts they want, without incurring huge credit card debt.

Nick Rolon, manager of the Island Avenue K-Mart in Southwest Philly, said the store is definitely seeing more shoppers going the layaway route.

“We have great advantages to layaway -- we have an 8 week plan. Customers can make bi-weekly payments or even weekly on the layaway plan. They can also make their payments at any of our checkouts,” said Rolon.

Layaway programs often help people to make bigger purchases that they normally wouldn't be able to make at one time.

Some of the stores offering layaway this holiday season include Sears, K-Mart and Boscov’s Department Stores. Wal-Mart offers layaway only in the jewelry department and T.J. Maxx and Marshall's offer layaway in certain stores.

Here are questions you should ask before you sign up:

  • What merchandise is eligible?
  • What's the down payment required?
  • Is there a service fee or cancellation fee?
  • When does the total need to be paid in full?
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