Holiday Layaway Policies for Major Retailers

Shoppers, start your carts. Major retailers are preparing for the holidays with another round of layaway programs.

Walmart started the holiday shopping season with an announcement last week that it would begin a special layaway program on Sept. 15. Other major retailers soon took up the “charge.” Such programs will allow consumers two more paycheck cycles to pay for holiday purchases. Here’s a roundup of available layaway programs.

Babies ‘R’ Us
The junior division of Toys ‘R’ Us is eliminating fees for all purchases paid off by Dec. 16. This includes items both large and small. There’s a $10 cancellation fee required in most states.

Best Buy
You’ll pay a 5-percent layaway fee on most products, with the exception of sale items and some cell phones.

Burlington Coat Factory
Shoppers will pay a 20-percent deposit with a $5 service fee to begin a 60--day layaway purchase. Cancellation results in a $5 fee.

David’s Bridal
Holiday brides can take advantage of David’s 60-day layaway policy for in-stock merchandise by making a minimum purchase of $75.

Not all of the 3,000 Hallmark Gold Crown outlets across the country offer layaway, so check with your local store. Layaway terms are available only on full-priced merchandise and usually require a 60-day payoff, with a 20-percent down payment.

The big-boxer will drop all layaway fees and allow shoppers to put any item on layaway at nearly all of their stores through Nov. 17, although their parent company is considering extending this policy throughout the holiday. Standard layaway is available throughout the year in 8- and 12-week pay-off periods.

The department store chain offers layaway in some of their stores for a $5 fee, with a $5 penalty on cancelled orders. Full payment must be completed within 30 days.

Sears plans on offering free layaway in October, but hasn’t yet announced extended dates for the rest of the holiday season. Standard layaway is available year-round, with 8- and 12-week payment programs.

TJ Maxx
The discounter only provides layaway service in some stores. There’s a $5 initiation fee and a $5 penalty charge if an order is cancelled.

Toys ‘R’ Us
The toy retailer is dropping fees for items paid off by Dec. 16. The program extends to all items in their stores. In most states, Toys ‘R’ Us charges a $10 cancellation fee.

Receive reduced layaway fees of $5 from Sept. 16 to Dec. 14 at the mega-discounter. Pay off your layaway before Christmas and receive a refund of your $15 account-initiation fee in the form of a gift card.

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