SPRINGFIELD, Ore. -- Locally, Sears, Walmart and Toys ‘R’ Us offer the program again this year. Most layaway programs require about 20 percent of the purchase price down. This year, there are new incentives.
SEARS is offering free layaway. Walmart charges you 5 dollars put your purchase on hold, but if you pay the bill off on time, they’ll give you a 5 dollar Walmart gift card.
Randy Jones, the Store Manager at Springfield's Walmart, said that the franchise was only without the program for a short time.
“We actually had it for 44 years and we discontinued it in 2006. And our customers have been asking and asking to bring it back.” Jones said.
Even with the abundance of store credit cards and special promotions some people are more inclined to choose a layaway method of long-term purchase.
Jones said the idea originally was that store credit cards would take the place of layaway. He said traditional layaway programs are actually not cost effective for stores, but it’s the right thing to do for families, especially around the holidays.
“Especially now with our economy. They really enjoy and have asked for the benefit of layaway to get that extra time to make those holiday payments without interest." said Jones.
The SEARS store in Springfield also offers a layaway program. Operations Manager David Davalos said that he has taken the final payment on items and witnessed what he calls a huge amount of excitement to finally have it in their hands.
"The anticipation builds and builds until that present is in your hands. Whether it’s a piece of clothing, or a game console in electronics. Whatever it may be.” Davalos said.
He added that clothing purchases are most frequently made with layaway in his store. For higher priced items Davalos said that customers often pay in cash or use store cards with promotional offers.
Shoppers seem to be interested in the return of an old favorite. Emily Weisz, a University of Oregon student from LA was shopping to furnish a new apartment with her father, Ed.
“I haven’t used it personally, but I remember layaway from my parent’s generation.” Ed Weisz said, “It’s actually, in a sense, saving for the item. So I think it’s a much more sensible thing. And that way, when you get it, it’s yours.”
His statement leads to the biggest drawback: no instant gratification. but as his daughter Emily added, “When you get it, it’s even better. You’re more excited to have the item.”
This year Walmart stores have changed the layaway policy to incorporate smaller ticket items as well as the big purchases.