While for many, layaway is not a new concept, retailers are now pushing the idea in the hopes that customers, who are especially worried about debt in this economy, will shop more.
According to an America's Research Group survey, 87 percent of American consumers use some form of credit to help finance holiday shopping. As a result, many people are still paying on debt incurred late last year. According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, stores are seeing everyday items as well as big-ticket items being put on layaway.
To increase attractiveness and convenience, Kmart and Sears, both owned by Sears Holdings, now offer for the first time, online layaway. Merchandise can be put on layaway online and items can be retrieved at any of the stores' locations. There are also independent Web sites such as eLayaway.com and Lay-Away.com in which items can be purchased from stores that don't have their own programs, as well as layaway sites for travel and concert tickets.