Layaway Plans are Back! Stores offering layaway service

Layaway plans are back for the consumer just in time for holiday shopping.  For those of you who missed this lovely store feature, layaway started during The Great Depression when people simply didn’t have the cash to make a purchase all at once.  Layaway started to phase out during the 1980′s and by the 1990′s with stores offering their own store credit cards – and making millions – allowing consumers to overspend, the cost of offering layaway simply became cement boots to retailers.  After all, you can’t make more money off of layaway, you can’t “count” the purchase until it is fully made for quarterly sales numbers and most of all…people tend to be more prudent in shopping.

What is layaway?  It’s putting money down on items at the store that are then saved for you in the storeroom allowing you to make payments over time.  Interest isn’t charged but some stores do charge a nominal layaway fee ($5).

With consumer credit and wallets tightening and holiday shopping around the corner, layaway looks to be a popular option.  Get the items you want now – ok, put on hold for you now – and pay in bits at the store until the balance is paid in-full.  Once paid in-full, you take the items home with you. 

Tips for buying on layaway:

  1. Get a copy of the store’s layaway policies and staple it to your receipt
  2. Make sure you understand the policies such as maximum time between payments / schedule of payments, late fee policies, refund and exchange policies, markdowns on sale prices, loss or damage of items while in the layaway room
  3. Be realistic in what you can afford over time and what you put on layaway
  4. Keep clear and accurate records of payments made (staple them to the original receipt and layaway policy statement signed) in case you have disputes later.
  5. When going to the store to make a payment use the direct in-out method.  Walk into the store and directly to the layaway counter to make the payment and then walk out and get back into your car.  Do not browse, sample, sniff, touch… in and out.  Once you are back in the car the chances of going back into the store to shop greatly decrease.

Don’t forget that until you payoff the items in layaway the store has your money and merchandise.  If the store goes out of business while you’re still paying you could be out both the cash and goods so only deal with reputable businesses.

Stores such as Walmart did away with layaway years ago but Kmart kept this feature of frugality.  Kmart, Burlington Coat Factory, TJ Maxx and Marshall’s have layaway plans.  If you know of other stores that have layaway service plans – let us know in the comment field!

89 thoughts on “Layaway Plans are Back! Stores offering layaway service

  1. Not having kids, I’m able to tread lightly on the whole holiday shopping gig. I don’t think I’ve ever used a layaway service. It always seemed too much of a hassle for a store to fool with too, but the direct in-out method makes it all clear. It’s a good foot traffic builder and I’m surprised that Amazon doesn’t adopt the idea.

  2. I think lay away is good for familys that just can’t go out and buy every thing striaght as if you were single.Some people have to put up with the hassle to get what you need for your family.

  3. Layaway is a great idea! I have 2 small kids and toys are so expensive these days, I can go to kmart, put the toys they want on layaway and make payments. It really takes the ease off of the financial strain at Christmas!!

  4. Hi,
    I just called TJ Max and they told me they do not have Layaway plans. They did away with Layaway the begining of this year…Same goes for Marshall’s…However, K-Mart and Burlington do. I really think Layaway is great for Families.

  5. I\’m single, but I use the layaway at Marshall\’s and TJ Maxx all the time! It\’s how I get my winter coats, hats, scarves, boots…actually it\’s great year-round! I\’m glad Burlington brought theirs back. They should have never taken it away!

  6. Rosebud – some TJ Maxx and Marshall’s locations may not but most/many of them do. Kmart and Burlington Coat Factory most certainly do as they are making it a core of their advertising campaign for this holiday season.

  7. I think Kmart will exceed many retailers with bringing back layaway. My daughter is a single Mom and as of today went to Kmart to place Christmas items on Layway which she could not do at the nearby Walmart. She was so happy because by Dec. 6 her shopping is done and paid. Walmart and other retailers really could of picked up her business and multiple others. I do not understand Sears being the same Co. does not offer this also. Anyhow, my Daughter is happy with her Christmas picks Thanks KMart. You just gained a new shopper plus Me. Grandma

  8. I have four children and Christmas can be expensive. We use to shop entirely at Walmart when they had their layaway plan, and Since they no longer offer that, we will be doing all of our christmas shopping at places that do offer layaway.

  9. I remember years ago, that was the way you bought stuff at Christmas, not all ‘credit cards’. People that bought on layaway, would make the payments more when they had the money in hand, no ‘credit checks’, and if you didn’t keep paying you didn’t get the item. With all the bank/credit probs. today, it seems to be the easier choice.

  10. we usually shop at wal-mart but i think this year we will be going to kmart and taking advantage of the lay-away program. I think walmart needs to realize not everyone has a credit card, and not everyone wants to “purchase” gift cards all year long that can be lost or stolen. to bad walmart my christmas $ is going to kmart this year!

  11. Even if you do have credit cards, if you don’t pay everything off right away you are paying the interest. Especially the store credit cards with the higher interest! This way you are making payments without the interest. Plus, I know K-Mart will honor sale prices so if an item you have on hold goes on sale they will take off the difference! At least they used to.

  12. Kmart is a litle more expensive then Wal-Mart however, I will forever go to Kmart just for the simple fact that they have lay-away. Though Christmas should not be about how much you spend but the thought behind the gift, I enjoy seeing my 8 year old daughter\’s face when she wakes to Tree full of gifts. I will spend whatever it takes to see that every year. And with lay-away and K-mart it\’s not an unmanagable task for me. I applaud K-mart for helping us give what we want and not just what we can.

  13. I dislike K mart for their pricing,BUT since Walmart wants to take away the plan I’m off to shop for gifts for my son. Layaway is a great plan,I wish Target had one too.

  14. I just got an Email today that Sears now offers Layway. My local news said the other day that TJMaxx and Marshall’s now offer layway – I guess you’d just have to call and verify w/ your local store. Layway makes more sense for everyone. Consumers spend what they can really afford to pay and bank’s/stores don’t have to loose out on dead beat consumers.

  15. Sear justwent back to offering layways. they do haverestrictions as to what you can place on layway like electronics and other major purchases but hey layaway that tool for dad, or mom if she’s like me.

  16. I am glad to hear that at least one large store is going back to layaway. I love layaway plans, I dont owe any one for the items,I pay as if it is bill and when Im done I have what I want. It may not be the instant gratification I get from using credit cards but I dont own anyone. Wish more stores would adopt the layaway plans. Walmart lost my vote when they took away theirs, I always got my merchandise out. I seem to apreciate thing more that way.

  17. TJMaxx & Marshall’s are only offering layaway at certain locations – I checked with the closest to us & no go, but the next closest does – so it pays to check by location.

  18. I have three kids and of course they want everything for christmas. I am so used to being able to get it for them but with the way things are going now-a-days Im not sure what to do. I check everyday to see if walmart has decided to bring back their layway but so far no go. I know kmart offers it but i am literally surrounded by walmarts. However I guess since gas is down to 1.80 a gallon, I’ll drive that extra mile to Kmart…..Thanks Kmart!!!

  19. Cato\’s, Sears, and Kmart do layaway. Sears is until December 23rd, Cato\’s is a 30 day plan, and Kmart is until December 5th here. I did not know that TJ Maxx did layaway. I am going to call them and ask. All the consignment stores around me do layaway. I use to shop at Wal Mart but not anymore because they do not do layaway. I have layaways every where at the stores that offer it.

  20. I love layaway. For the super stores \"offering\" credit, I couldn\’t get it. I was denied! I wanted to by my wife a new desktop at Best Buy and applied online. Found out a couple of days later I was denied. I went to the local Best Buy and asked about layaway, and the kid tried to get me to apply for a credit card. I don\’t have terrible credit, but unless your in the 800\’s, you can\’t finance anything anymore.

  21. I think layaway is a fabulous idea… and feel that more stores should offer the service.

    My husband and I have don’t have children, but have a very large family and a wonderful group of friends we enjoy buying small gifts for on special occassions (e.g., Birthdays, Christmas, Get Well). Typically, my husband and I have been fortunate to have the flexibility to purchase items outright, but I grew up with a very frugal, yet fashionista, mother who lived on layaway.

    I believe TJ Max and possibly Marshalls has layaway… and they carry the most sought after designers (e.g., Coach, Dooney & Bourke, Anne Klein, Ralph Lauren, BCBG). Although some of the items are either past season or have a minor defect – who cares… they’re unnoticeable and affordable.

    I typically stack up on beautiful designer handbags for most of the women for Christmas. I hope to utilize a layaway plan this year to see if it helps me gauge my spending throughout the year instead of splurging in November and December.

    I think that layaway is definitely a service that is needed in most, if not all, stores and helps the general public in these tough economic times. I feel if more stores offered layaway, they may not go out of business like some of the big stores that have already closed in 2008.

    Happy Holidays!

  22. i really don’t understand why more stores don’t offer layaway especially in todays economy they hold the merchandise,earn a layaway fee and keep the monies from the party if they don’t pick up the merchandise by the due date so it’s a win win situation.

  23. I will only shop at stores that have Layaway. Because I have to stay on a tight budget. Forman Mills has layaway and the stuff is dirt cheap, with decent quality.

  24. I just recentley moved to a new place, and although we don’t have children, we do have three wonderful dogs (who are like our children). My husband being military and me having a hard time finding work, it has been pretty tough on us financially. Everyone in our families and all of our friend keep asking me to send them pictures of our new place and I just can’t bring myself to do it because our walls are literally bare! We just haven’t had the extra money to spend on decorating. I try to catch sales and clearances, but it still adds up… and QUICK! So, recently I learned that TJ Maxx and Marshall’s offer layaway plans which THRILLS me beyond words. I can remember growing up and using the layaway at Walmart for EVERYTHING- birthdays, Christmas, back-to-school. My dad worked hard, but construction just doesn’t produce the income a family needs to sustain when everything is rising in price. Especially when that’s you’re only income. Anyway, I’m so happy to know that I have an option besides credit cards. We are up to our ears in credit card debt as it is, and we’re working to pay them down. But last holiday season got us good… and we used them to live on between paychecks when my husband’s check just wasn’t enough. So, thanks to everyone for giving me hope yet again!

  25. Being completely broke and with no job layaway is the way to go. By the way, the Buckle store that sells clothes at the mall has Layaway (might call first) last time I used was back in 2005. With the price of their clothes you have to put it on layaway but definitely worth the wait if you find a certain size and style you like and better than going into debt!

  26. Walmart did away with their layaway because it was costing them money. The service was free there and all money on cancellations were returned to customer. They still had to pay people to ring up orders, store them and pull the candled orders.

    That being said, I would still use their layaway if they brought it back with a cancellation fee like Kmart’s because the prices are better and they have so much more to choose from. The electronics alone would make my family’s Christmas.

  27. Instead of layaway, why not just put that cash in a jar every week for 8 weeks (Wal-Mart layaway must be paid in 8 weeks), and then take the money and make the purchases? Save yourself the service fee and also the gas money it takes to get to the store every week to pay the bill. You end up with more money to spend this way!

  28. I live in central Texas and all the Kmarts went under over five years ago. I am hoping to find some stores that will have layaway with my husband deploying two weeks before Christmas This year has to be good.

  29. Wal-mart is gonna feel the pinch this christmas shopping season…I\’m going to K-mart to take advantage of the layaway. People are too strapped these days to buy things out right..payments are the way to go!

  30. My niece and her husband have 4 year old tripletts. They are both working 2 jobs and still just getting by. When Wal Mart closed their lay a way, she cried. They have no idea how that 1 stupid decision hurt their customers, nor do they care. However, I worked at Wal Mart when Mr. Sam was still in charge, and I can tell you for sure, HE would have cared very much!

  31. TJ Max layaway plan does not always suit my needs. You can only layaway clothes. I find that they do not have a good variety of young girls wear.

    Also, you are not allowed to put houseware or home decor items on layaway, in which at Christmas, this is a big let down. Home decor and houseware items such as small appliances, bedding, wall clocks etc. would be great gifts for Christmas.

  32. For those of us who ar eon a fixed income layaway is very important to us at he holiday season . I know K-Mart has it , but Walmart should have it too.Has anyone heard if Walmart has layaway?

  33. In today’s economy most store will benefit if they offer a layaway plan for those unfortunat people who cannot afford to purchase Christmas gifts for their children or grand children, is a good option to do so. If I had a retail store this is the way I would have done business. The only stores that I know have a layaway plan is K-mart. I do not know anyone else who offers this option. I leave in Southern California. September 30, 2009.

  34. They took ALL our KMart stores from us in East Texas. I loved shopping there. I searched and it says there isn’t one near enough to me that has layaway. BUMMER! Seems they are owned by same company as Sears, so guess Sears wants all the business. Thing is, I don’t like shopping at Sears, never have, never will. I don’t understand why WalMart doesn’t bring back layaway. It may be the only way to keep customers from shopping elsewhere in this economy.

  35. yes it really sucks walmart doesn’t have layaway to bad the wouldn’t have layaway just for the christmas holiday maybe someone ought to suggest that to walmart i’ll just go to kmart again this year.Thanks kmart my kids are always happy

  36. I just went to Marshalls yesterday and they told me they don’t have layaway anymore. Maybe I should check another location. Wonder if it depends on the location. I think layaway is a great idea.

  37. I’m so ticked Walmart got rid of layaway. Didn’t bother me so much last few years cuz I had a job bringing home $600 a week, but I been out of work since Feb. and living on unemployment, my husband works but his money has to go to bills. I have three children and a granddaughter on the way and want to provide at least a decent xmas. I agree I will going to Kmart this weekend and getting alot of things there. Planning on spending about $500 on layaway so I can pay like a $100 a week and still get the things I want for my kids. It’s a shame I can’t give my money to Walmart, where I normally do all my shopping, but I see I’m not the only one who feels that way. Well Walmart lose is Kmarts gain I suppose. TO BAD FOR YOUR WALLY MART, LOOK AT ALL THE MONEY YOU ARE MISSING OUT ON.

  38. It’s nice that Kmart has layaway, but their prices are still to darn high! Not worth it to me. It would be a blessing if Toys R Us had it. Especially for the holidays.

  39. Walmart lost all my business when they stopped layaway! I used it year round, not just at Christmas. i used it for birthdays, back to school clothes, household stuff, you name it! Now Kmart gets all my layaway business. Yes they may not have as good as a selection and their prices are higher on some stuff but it\’s worth it because of layaway. I did see in the newspaper at work that Toys R us is offering layaway on bigger ticket items this holiday season.

    I hope someday Walmart brings theirs back but I doubt it.

  40. Be sure to read everything BEFORE you put anything on layaway!

    When my oldest kids were little, I used to put things on layaway year-round. As a single mother at the time, that was SUCH an unbelievable help to me! Now with a total of 4 kids and 5 grandkids, I’ve been checking into places that offer layaway plans and was surprised to find so many places no longer offered them. While looking, I found this website, and after reading through the posts, I decided to compile a list of stores (both traditional and online) who offer layaway plans.

    Anyways, I had contacted Burlington Coat Factory…I really do like shopping there! Their layaway plan, in my opinion, is appalling! The woman I spoke to said she wanted to be sure I knew all of the facts before I used their service, and she basically said (in not so many words) that she wouldn’t use it.


    You can get the information at their website, but here is a brief version of it:
    $5 fee, 20% down and additional 20% due within 14 days.
    $5 cancellation fee due upon any change to layaway (plus sales tax where applicable).
    ~~~So far, not bad. But, here is where I begin to re-think what they offer:
    Customers returning merchandise after completion of layaway will receive a gift card, not a refund.
    Layaway deposits and payments are non-refundable, but may be converted to a gift card if layaway is cancelled or returned.
    ~~~Ok. I MAY be able to get over that, too. The next bit, however, seals the “NO Deal” for me:
    Returns after 30 days will be issued in the form of a gift card. Returns older than 60 days will receive lowest selling price.

    She told me that since the layaway would be more than 60 days if it was for a Christmas gift, that the last sentance above would apply. Example:

    I put a coat on layaway today for $75. I pay off my layaway and give it to my daughter for Christmas. She doesn’t like it for whatever reason, and of course I tell her I have the receipt and please return it and purchase something she likes better…no problem! She takes it back to them and finds out that on “Black Friday” the same coat was one of the Door-Buster bargains for $25. THAT IS THE AMOUNT THEY GIVE HER, regardless of the fact that the receipt clearly shows I paid $75!!!


    THAT is where they’ve lost me as a customer when it comes to gift-giving. I’ll shop there for myself, but never for a gift!

    So! Be careful; even if they KNOW it’s a gift being purchased early, you don’t get your money back, only a card for their store. And worse yet, the gift may very well lose it’s value…kinda like driving a brand new car off the lot…

  41. I live in Indianapolis and I wish WalMart also keep there layaway. I called toys r us and if you have big items like power wheels,swing sets they have layaway for big ticket items so if call your local toy r us and ask them and they wii give you info on what you can put in.

  42. Just did a layaway at Kmart and was pleasantly surprised to find out they had just added clearance items as eligible for layaway. I found some really great deals and was able to put a lot more in layaway and still be in my budget. Love it , love it!!!!

  43. I was very disappointed when Walmart ended their layaway services. I just put an order in layaway at Kmart yesterday. To me, it\’s worth the few extra dollars for the items if I can make payments on them and not have to find a way to come up with a huge sum on just my single income. The stores who are doing away with layaway because they have their own credit cards are nuts! Who wants to get a credit card with outrageous interest when they can just put stuff in layaway without any interest, just a 10% down payment (Kmart)? That\’s crazy! I do wish that Kmart had a longer layaway period, but I\’ll take it!

  44. I noticed in Toysrus big book sales ad that they are offering layaways on big ticket items…..I am going to call the store in my area for further details. This is great I can use this layaway process to get my kids things out of the way early instead of last minute shopping. :)

  45. I just called my local Best Buy & confirmed that some stores are offering lay-away plans. It is a pilot program, with restrictions, & not all stores are included. Best advice is to call your local store & see if they are in the program. I wish everyone luck on surviving this economy! Cheryl


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