As if we weren’t in enough denial about the summer coming to a close, some major retailers are already planning on rolling out their first holiday promotions. According to the LA Times, Walmart will begin their holiday layaway plan in mid September – Toys R Us will also begin their price match guarantee promotion.
Layaway, which allows customers to put products on hold while paying for them in installments, will be free from opening fees this year. The chain previously charged a $5 fee to open a layaway account.
As in previous years, Wal-Mart will require a down payment of $10, or 10% of an item’s price. The company reinstituted a $10 cancellation fee, which it had removed last year.
This time around, there are “no gimmicks,” Duncan Mac Naughton, Wal-Mart’s chief merchandising and marketing officer, said in a conference call with reporters.
“Our customers are feeling the pinch,” he said, adding that the coming months “will be a very dynamic and competitive season.”
The chain is offering layaway from Sept. 13 through Dec. 13, though fans of the company on Facebook will get a two-day head start. In addition to the jewelry, toys and electronics included in the program last year, customers this year will be able to lay away infant toys and car stereos.
Mac Naughton said he expected major sellers among the 35,500 available items to be computer tablets such as the Apple iPad and the Samsung Galaxy, smartphones, Playstation and Xbox One consoles, big-screen smart TVs, toys such as the Furby Boom and the Barbie Dream House and children’s learning toys.