Retailers, consumers and prices
Layaway goes virtual at Kmart
Last holiday season, Kmart touted its layaway program as a way to help cash-strapped shoppers afford their holiday purchases (and ultimately help boost its own sales).
This year, with consumers still reluctant to spend and estimates emerging that overall holiday sales may not rise from last year’s depressed levels, Kmart is extending the program and will launch online layaway on Oct. 9.
Shoppers can browse items on its website, place those items on layaway and then pick up the item at a local Kmart store.
In addition, shoppers who start layaway contracts in stores, can make their layaway payments online — or online layaway users can make their payments at the Kmart store where their layaway order is being held.
Kmart says it is launching the online program after seeing a double-digit increase in layaway customers and sales in 2008.
But don’t fret if you’re more of a Sears shopper than a Kmart shopper (the two retailers fall under the umbrella of Sears Holding Corp, which is controlled by hedge fund manager Edward Lampert).
Sears is also offering online layaway.