Walmart Brings Back Layaway
Back in 2006 when Walmart decided to do away with its layaway program, this is what a company official had to say: "Demand for layaway service has declined steadily as consumers turn to current options including online shopping, shopping cards and no-cost credit alternatives that were not available when the company was started." The company, along with others who did away with layaway, cited the high cost of maintaining a program and the relatively small returns generated.
Fast forward to today as Walmart has announced it is bringing back its layaway program for the upcoming Christmas holiday.
"We’re always looking for ways to ease budget strain for our customers, and we know this holiday season in particular brings with it additional financial pressure," said Duncan Mac Naughton, chief merchandising officer for Walmart, in a press release.
The retailer announced its plans on Facebook. According to Walmart, its shoppers are mostly interested in the program for buying consumer electronics and toys.
The chain is making layaway available on toys and electronics priced at $15 or higher. Walmart customers may take advantage of the program between Oct. 17 and Dec. 16. Shoppers can make payments at the checkout and layaway orders are processed at the Walmart.com counter in most of the chain’s stores. Layaway orders or pickups are not available on Black Friday.
"Our customers told us they want a hassle-free layaway option during the holiday season," said Mr. Mac Naughton. "With our Christmas layaway program, they can focus on what’s important to them during the Christmas season instead of stressing over mandated payments or how to tuck money away for gifts."
- Walmart to Offer Special Layaway Option this Christmas – Walmart Stores
- Layaway Goes Away at Wal-Mart – RetailWire
Discussion Question: Will reinstatement of layaway be a competitive advantage winner for Walmart or a bottom line loser for the chain?