2013 layaway plans gain popularity with shoppers, retailers Sears, Toys R Us, Kmart, Walmart

CLEVELAND - Sears, Toys R Us, Kmart, and Walmart are just some of the retailers reviving the layaway program.

Walmart will kick off their popular nationwide holiday layaway program on Sept. 13, which lasts through Dec. 13.

This year, the retail giant announced there will not be an opening fee. At Ohio's stores, there will not be a cancelation fee.

"It saves me money. It allows me to put things away and pay on it a little at a time," said Joy McGowan, a Walmart shopper.

Eligible layaway items include electronics, toys, jewelry, small appliances, select sporting goods, automotive electronics and infant toys. Walmart layaway customers can also take advantage of the ad match guarantee.

"Our customers throughout the entire year, are saving every penny they can and it gets a lot tougher around holiday time. So it's our chance to let them have the opportunity to prepare better for the holidays," said Amber Scimone, Walmart assistant manager.

While Walmart only offers layaway three months of the year, other retailers offer the program all year long.

The shopping payment plan started in the Great Depression said Elad Granot, a Cleveland State University business professor. It peaked in the 1970s and 1980s only to be replaced by the credit card. Now the program is making a comeback and Granot doesn't think it will go away anytime soon.

"There is a shift in the market, consumers reflect that. Credit is harder to come by more and more," said Granot.

Each stores layaway policy is different. But Granot said they are all banking on having shoppers spend more money while they are in the store making a layaway payment.


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