If you’ve been planning to take advantage of Walmart’s low Black Friday prices by putting a bunch of gifts on layaway, better get there early. Reports claim that the chain will be closing down the Layaway department early on November 23.
Layaway was a popular option in department stores for decades before falling out of favor. In the last few years, discount chains like Kmart and Walmart have brought it back, probably in response to the economic problems of the recent recession and to attract customers who do not have credit cards.
This year, Walmart will be doing Layaway only from September 16 to December 14. Layaway is available for toys, electronics, small appliances, floor care, refrigerators, jewelry and select sporting goods. Customers must put down 10% of the cost of the item, or $10, whichever is greater. The open fee of $5 is refundable to a Walmart Gift Card after full payment. Other details are available at Walmart.com.
In very, very fine print, the site says “Limited hours on Friday, November 23. See store associates for details.” In real life, what that means is that you can exject the Layaway departments of Walmart stores to close around five or six p.m., depending on the individual store.
The Kmart Black Friday ad released earlier this week confirms that the chain will be accepting Layaway items during all open hours on November 23. The Walmart policy seems like a bummer for busy shoppers who must work during the day on Black Friday and have to postpone their shopping until the evening.