Holiday Layaway Starting A Month Earlier This Year At Walmart, With A Few Changes

Walmart customers who rely on its layaway program to get all that holiday shopping done will surely be grateful for a little extra time this year to buy gifts and pay them off in time. The store announced that layaway will return a month earlier than it did last year, and tweaked a few of the program’s rules in the process.

Layaway at Walmart will start on Sept. 16, compared to last year’s later kickoff on Oct. 17. That extra month could be quite helpful to cash-strapped shoppers paying off purchases over time. And for even more time — customers who “Like” the store on Facebook can start the program on Sept. 14.

Walmart has said in the past that a majority of its customers pay in cash, and has made other accommodations to help those who do, including a program that allows shoppers to place orders online and then pick them up at the store to pay in cash.

Layaway returned last year after it a break of five years, but this year the rules are slightly different: Customers will pay a $15 fee to open a layaway account, and will get that money back in the form of a gift card if they complete all payments by Dec. 14. Last year there was a $5 fee, a $10 cancellation fee and no reward for paying in full. There’s no cancellation fee this time.

Customers are still required to hand over  a down payment of $10 or 10%, whichever amount is greater, and must spend at least $50 to sign up for the plan. Items must cost $15 or more to be put on layaway, but there are now more kinds of products available for layaway like small appliances and some sporting goods.

Christmas Layaway is Back and Better at Walmart [Walmart.com]