In this economy, some shoppers are fretting over being able to afford that special toy, bauble or other item that they know will bring a smile to their children, spouse, friend or family member.
Consider layaway as a way to spread payments out over time, and be able to check things off those holiday lists.
Popular during the Great Depression in the 1930s, layaway fell out of fashion in the 1980s as credit card usage became widespread.
Many companies are once again offering the service, which allows customers to make installment payments on an item, sometimes with a small fee added to the item’s price for the company’s administrative costs.
In Anne Arundel County, try one of these retailers’ 2012 holiday layaway programs (see stores to confirm availability of layaway and details):
Kmart has continually offered layaway for more than 40 years.
Kmart has three local locations—Crofton, Edgewater and Pasadena
The layaway at Wal-Mart restarted in 2011, and offers an online version. Its layaway requires $10 or 10 percent down (whichever is greater) and a $5 “open” fee, which is refunded as a gift card upon completion of the program.
Walmart has locations in Glen Burnie, Hanover, Laurel and Severn
Sears has a no-fee layaway program for the 2012 holiday season (provided that the item is paid for in full) and has some price level requirements. Its website has a handy payment calculator and online payment option.
Sears has retail locations in Annapolis and Glen Burnie
Toys 'R' Us
The layaway program at Toys 'R' Us is offered in-store only, and carries a small service fee. To find out which products are eligible for layaway, visit its website.
Toys 'R' Us has local locations in Annapolis, Glen Burnie and Pasadena
If you know of any other local stores with layaway programs, tell us in the comments!