Walmart Opens Holiday Layaway Program Two Weeks Early, Reduces Minimum Cost For Eligible Items

Thinking about getting a jump on your holiday shopping? So is Walmart, apparently. The company announced today that it will open its seasonal layaway program early and lower the price for eligible items.

Reuters reports that Walmart’s annual holiday layaway program would be available starting August 28, two weeks earlier than last year and nearly two months before the big box retailer allowed customers to put away gifts when it first brought back the program in 2011.

The earlier start date for the 2015 layaway program coincides with Walmart’s made-up occasion, “Toy Week” – an attempt to capitalize on the soon to launch Star Wars toy line, Anne Marie Kehoe, vice president of toys, says.

In addition to starting the holiday shopping season earlier, the retailer announced it would revamp the layaway program by lowering the price for individual eligible items to $10 from $15.

In all, the company will make 40,000 items available under the program, which allows people to pay for holiday gifts and other products in installments.

Walmart will also give customers longer to pay their layaway balance, increasing the time frame from 60 days to 90 days.

“In the five years we’ve been offering this holiday layaway program we’ve discovered that customers use it for a whole host of reasons, from being able to better budget their money and avoiding credit card fees,” Kehoe said.

Wal-Mart boosts holiday layaway, eyeing Star Wars toy launch [Reuters]