Some using layaway as holiday budget stretcher


Shopping / Christmas / HolidayA certain percentage of the consumer population is avoiding a sudden one-time retail bill by putting items on layaway and paying for them over time. According to BIGinsight, the technique is used for a variety of purchase categories, and the primary brick and mortar beneficiaries are Wal-Mart (65.5% of layaway users), K-Mart (42.2%) and Toys R Us (21.2%).

It is not a tool used by most – in fact, BIGinsight says that just 12.3% will use what it describes as a revived Depression-era tactic for stretching holiday shopping dollars.

For those planning to use the technique, its very availability is a key determinant as to where they will shop. 43.2% of those using layaway this year will be doing so for the first time.

“While plans to use layaway aren’t staggering this holiday season, this service provides a relief for those shoppers seeking to stick to their budgets while staying off the credit cards,” said Pam Goodfellow, Consumer Insights Director, BIGinsight. “To maximize their efforts, retailers really need to understand layaway shoppers and cater their program promotions in a manner that speaks specifically to this unique segment.”

The categories for which layaways are used include some reasonably big-ticket items. From BIGinsight, here’s the list:
* Electronics — 57.5%
* Toys — 41.2%
* Apparel — 36.4%
* Jewelry — 17.5%
* Furniture — 13.6%
* Home Décor — 13.0%
* Baby Equipment — 12.3%
* Linens or Bedding — 9.7%
* Lawn & Garden — 6.5%