Bentonville, Ark. – Walmart will
offer a Christmas layaway program for consumer electronics and toys at all its stores
between Oct. 17 and Dec. 16.
The offer excludes contract wireless
phones and products priced less than $15.
The world’s largest retailer said
its customers have indicated that they are most interested in layaway for those
two categories, and that they need the option the most during the holidays.
“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 Walmart’s chief
merchandising officer Duncan Mac Naughton.
Walmart follows Kmart and sister
chain Sears, which revived their layaway programs in 2008 to help cash-strapped
consumers during the depths of the recession.
Walmart said its program will enable
customers to make payments when they want and for how much they want, although
items must be paid in full and picked up on or before Dec. 16. Customers must make
a total minimum layaway purchase of $50, and pay a 10 percent down payment on
the total purchase and a one-time non-refundable $5 service fee. A $10 fee will
be charged for canceled orders or purchases not picked up by Dec. 16.
Layaway orders can be initiated and retrieved
at most stores’ Walmart.com counters, and payments can be made at any register,
the retailer said.