JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - It's just the beginning of fall, but many people are already getting ramped up for the holiday season. With the unemployment rate still high and many on tight budgets, layaway has made a huge come back to entice customers to come shop.
Christy Warren has made the most of what layaway had to offer. "You know it's easy to do when you can just put a little bit down. I got curtains. I got new bathroom towels. I have new toys, blenders, deep fryers," said Warren.
Warren had two baskets full of items she just finished paying off. It's a wish list that layaway has helped her squeeze into her budget. "I wouldn't be able to do this without layaway. It's too hard to come up with that kind of money," said Warren.
Over the past few years, a hand-full of retailers have brought it back by popular demand from Sears to TJ Max. Come Monday, retail giant Walmart will even offer layaway to customers, just for the holidays up until December 16th.
"I think retailers are starting to see that customers appreciate layaway and it's something that customers want," said Ross Sedlacek, who manages the Kmart in Jonesboro. He says they never stopped offering layaway. "There's always been a demand," said Sedlacek.
He says it not only helps make shopping more affordable for customers, but it gets them in the door. "Layaway can create return customers in that you get several visits to the store. Obviously, you have the first visit when they put it on layaway. Then, there's the every two week visit when ever they come and make their payments. And the final pick up. You hope that maybe they will purchase something within there," said Sedlacek.
And with the holiday season right around the corner, shoppers can get a jump start on the holiday must haves, "wrapping up" payments just in time for Christmas.
"Layaway is great way to save merchandise that wouldn't be available later in the season, but is available right now. Some of the hotter toys of the Christmas season," said Sedlacek.
Which is exactly what Warren plans to do. "Yeah, you come out early it's a good advantage," said Warren.