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Wal-Mart extends layaway program for holiday shopping season

Wal-Mart extends layaway program for holiday shopping season
Wal-Mart spruces up its layaway program in time for the holidays. (Elise Amendola / AP Photo)

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is hoping to nab a wider portion of holiday and back-to-school shoppers by widening its layaway program to include more products and stretch the pay-back period.

Back for a second year in a row because of customer demand, the service allows customers to put goods on hold and pay for them in increments without worrying about fluctuating prices.

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But this time, buyers will have 90 days to pay the balance instead of last year’s 60-day time frame. In addition to jewelry, toys such as the Furby and electronics including the iPad, customers will be able to layaway small home appliances and sporting goods such as basketball goals, trampolines and exercise equipment.

The program will be open from Sept. 16 through Dec. 14. But shoppers who like their local Wal-Mart on  Facebook can start using the service on Sept. 14.

To open a layaway account, customers must pay a $15 fee which will be refunded as a $15 gift card once full payment is completed. To use the program, buyers must put down a $10 down payment or 10% of the item price.

Individual items laid away must cost at least $15; the full purchase must come out to at least $50.

The retail giant is doing what it can to lure customers during the key fall and winter shopping season. Kmart offers a year-round layaway option; sister store Sears allows customers to extend the payment period for big-ticket layaway items. Toys R Us expanded its layaway program last fall.

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