Walmart Proves Layaways May Help Retailers Bounce Back

Layaway SalesWith money and spending the root of much household tension over the past few years, many retailers have tried numerous customer-friendly promotions to get a part of the shopping budget. Among these promotions are integrated marketing campaigns across all available channels, paid shipping expenses, and this past holiday season favorite, layaway programs. Many big box retailers and chain stores have implemented layaway programs to help those consumers fretting over additional debt and worrying about maxing out their credit cards. This is a good way to entice consumers who may have initially crossed items off their wish list because of price. One of the most highly talked about programs of the season was Walmart. “Walmart’s campaign began on Oct. 17, and was available only for purchases of $50 or more on electronics and toys. Each item had to be worth at least $15, and shoppers had to pay a $5 initiation fee, place 10 percent down, and pay off the debt by Dec. 16, or face a $10 cancellation fee,” says news site, ABC15.

Layaway Success in the News

In an effort to make the shopping experience fun and affordable once again, retailers are listening to customer requests, innovating for convenience, and testing out new promotional tactics. And before any indies think such a tactic wouldn’t work for them, they have to first consider the fact that layaway programs are customizable, from start and end date, to products available, to required down payments. A layaway program can be made to fit your store and your customers’ needs.

And if that isn’t enough to promote a little research on the topic of layaways, recent news of the competition’s fourth quarter may have you think twice. Analysts, on average, expect Walmart U.S. sales rose 1.8 percent in the fourth quarter, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S, the best performance in the last 10 quarters most of which saw a decline. As Reuters reporter, Jessica Wohl, writes, “A key component to Walmart’s success during the recent holiday season was the well-publicized return of layaways. The plan was so popular that Walmart parked more than 3,000 trailers outside many U.S. stores in order to hold toys and electronics until shoppers finished paying and picked them up.”

No one says your layaway plan needs to follow these structures or be a year round offer, but the word “layaway” has doubled in interest among U.S. shoppers, as they face the interest charges on their credit cards. Doubled interest might mean doubled sales.

Click here to find out about the other factors leading to Walmart’s turnaround.

Check out our News section for other big box retail news that may help you stay ahead of the competition.