Layaway: the sequel

The economic climate has brought back layaway. For the uninitiated, layaway lets cash-strapped people put a purchase on hold and pay it off in instalments. When the balance is paid, the customer gets to take their item home. US retailers like Walmart, Kmart and Toys R’ Us started promoting their layaway programs long before the 2011 holiday shopping season. According to BIGInsight’s Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, more than one in 10 consumers planned to use layaway for Christmas 2011. (Cheers Joe)

Since retailers account for the sale when the customer actually takes the item home, the real economic effect on layaway’s Christmas comeback won’t be seen until Q4 earnings announcements.