As more families struggle in the tough economy, retailers are trying to make paying for holiday gifts more flexible by offering layaway options. With layaway experiencing a comeback, your Better Business Bureau offers the following guidance on how to use this old fashioned payment plan in lieu of credit cards.
Many businesses are shaking the dust off their layaway programs for today’s beleaguered consumer. Kmart’s layaway program saw double-digit increases in customers and sales in 2008 and, according to the company, the word “layaway” had more than double the interest among U.S. web searchers in August 2009 than it had in August 2008. According to The Record newspaper in New Jersey, consumers even used layaway to purchase school supplies and clothes—rather than just big-ticket items like TVs.
“It is a sign of our rough economic times that consumers are turning to layaway to purchase the basics, rather than just luxury items,” said Kim States, BBB President. “For many families this holiday season, it’s not just gifts and decorations that will be purchased on layaway, but also the basic items needed to get by in everyday life.”
Buying items on layaway is different from putting them on a credit card because the buyer isn’t charged (more…)