Thanks to overwhelming customer demand, mega-retailer Walmart has announced the return of the holiday layaway program. According to MSN Money, the company, which caters to predominately lower-income families, will offer the service to their clientele beginning this September, which is one month longer than last season.
“Last year, millions of Americans relied on layaway at Wal-Mart to provide a great Christmas for their families,” explained Duncan MacNaughton, chief merchandising and marketing officer for Wal-Mart’s U.S. store division. “Because of their feedback, we’re offering the service again this year and making it better than ever.”
In addition to the extra month, this year’s layaway service will include more products, including trampolines and small appliances, for customers to choose from. However, Walmart is still requiring that items have a minimum value of $15, and that the total purchase cost is no less than $50.
Keep in mind, however, that this service does come at a cost. Those who wish to open an account will have to pony up $15, which will be returned to the customer after the final layaway payment in the form of a gift card. Additionally, all purchases will require a down payment of 10 percent, though this price is capped at $10.
The extra month will certainly help those who are strapped for cash this holiday season. “Our customer was saying if they had two more paycheck cycles, that really would be helpful for them,” MacNaughton told The New York Times. “Our customer continues to be concerned with unemployment and underemployment. They’re concerned about the expenses they’re paying every day — gas prices have recently gone up.”
Although MacNaughton did not reveal how many people failed to pay off their layaway purchases, he explained that the majority of customers were able to completely purchase their items.
Walmart’s holiday layaway program runs from September 16 to December 14.