Layaway programs make comeback

Layaway programs make comeback
Jamie Lytle
Jamie Lytle
Arthur Plateros
Arthur Plateros

By Zahid Arab - bio | email

AIEA (KHNL) - Tough unemployment numbers mean families will have to tighten spending, especially with the upcoming holiday season. That's why stores like Toys "R" Us have a plan to help you buy that big gift on a budget.

Remember layaway? It's back, but a little different. Toys "R" Us says its new-look program helps families buy at their own pace and avoid big financial debt.

Jamie Lytle makes her list and it's a long one. She has four kids to shop for.

"8,12,14 and 16," said layaway shopper Jamie Lytle.

Lytle sums up holiday shopping with one word.

"Stressful, a lot of stuff to buy and a little bit of time," said Lytle.

But some wish list items like bikes, tricycles and cribs are too pricey to purchase at once or too big to hide at home. With credit cards raising interest rates and minimum required payment amounts, people like Lytle are opting for layaway.

"You can spend so much money a week throughout 2 months to pay it off, it makes it a lot easier," said Lytle.

At Toys "R" Us, customers put down 20% of their purchase plus a $10 service charge. Items must be paid in full by December 6th to make sure you get them in time for Christmas.

"Everybody has a tighter budget now," said Shopper Arthur Plateros.

"It really helps out," said Lytle.

Layaway may not lessen the number of people on Lytle's list, but at least this way it's affordable, giving Santa the best selection.

The program is intended for bigger ticket items but the store says you can put anything on layaway. If you default on your payments you pay a $5 penalty and you'll lose the $10 service charge but get the rest of your money back.