The idea of putting a kid’s bike, toys, clothes and shoes on layaway is nothing new.
Last year, stores like Sears and KMart got a big boost from its layaway options. But this year, layaway has gone glam. Diamond rings and other luxury items are now available in some stores through layaway. As more and more consumers shun credit cards, they are looking for payments that are affordable on items they still desire.
“We don’t specifically promote it,” said Dean Abell, the vice president of Sarah Leonard Fine Jewelers in Los Angeles. But he often suggests a layaway plan for his clients, especially for purchases of engagement rings and wedding bands, which can cost up to $35,000.
“Even if people have the money, sometimes they will take advantage of that option to break up the payments without incurring credit card charges,” Abell explained.
Layaway allows shoppers to make an initial downpayment, then make regular payments on the item over a period of several weeks or months. The items are held at the store until it has been completely paid for. A reliance on credit cards made layaway less popular over the years, but its resurgence isn’t expected to diminish anytime soon.
Small galleries and boutiques are now using it as a way to lure customers. Major upscale retailers haven’t turned in that direction yet.
This is a national look at stores offering layaway this year, but stores in certain regions may or may not allow it. Be sure to ask the retailer in your area whether they accept layaway.
Question: Will you use layaway this year? Do you think it’s a good alternative? Do you know of any local boutiques or small retailers offering layaway this year?