JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) – Layaway used to be a thing of the past but with a down economy, paying for things over time has become more popular. Some stores started offering Christmas layaway back in July!
"It's really good because it's hard to go and buy everything at one time if you've got say ten grandkids and four children," said Rebecca Williams who on Friday put a buggy full of items on layaway at K-Mart.
"Layaway is a great option for a lot of people based on the current economic conditions," said Toy Castle Store Manager Nathan Mckelvey.
"There was a period of time where I think people didn't necessarily use layaway as much as they are starting to come back to now," said K-Mart store Manager Ross Sedlacek.
K-Mart and Toy Castle offer a year-round layaway and a Christmas layaway. Both store managers say one of the most appealing things about the process is going into the holiday's debt free with no post-Christmas regret.
"I can get everybody something and get in and get my layaway paid for and have it out by the time December gets here," said Williams.
"Once you get the present on Christmas day it's paid for. There are no bills coming later nothing to worry about it's all said and done," said Mckelvey.
This is the third year Toy Castle has offered layaway.
"We've seen a steady increase each year. This year we're up about 15% of what we were at last year," said Mckelvey.
"We're at a level right now where we expect to see probably somewhere near four times what we have in layaway right now," said Sedlacek.
And best of all, most haven't thought about starting their shopping now so most aisles are empty.
"There's not a lot of wait time at layaway for either paying it off or putting it in," said Sedlacek.
At K-Mart they have a eight week and a twelve week layaway program. The twelve week program starts this year for people putting in $399 of merchandise or more. You have to pay down fifteen dollars or ten percent of the total, whichever amount is more.
Toy Castle has a 90 day layaway program in addition to their Christmas layaway program. Both stores require a five dollar non-refundable fee for holding the merchandise.