Layaway is the way to go say some East Texans

By Courtney Lane - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - You may see more of these signs as retailers try to reel in business by resuscitating layaway plans. While some shoppers don't like waiting others say it's the smarter way to budget rather than charging up high interest rates.

"It's too time consuming," said Joyce Jackson.

"Overdoing it? Yeah, I have," said Sherry Hollins. "Those interest rates will kill you, I'm in it now. They'll kill you."

In timely fashion, we ran into Sandra Bates just as she was getting a layaway.

"Man, layaway is the best option for people who are broke," said Bates. "It is for me anyway 'cause, you know, I can't just come in here and buy $200 worth of stuff. It's so easy just to put $40 down and you know you've got it."

Burlington Coat Factory offers an eight week layaway plan. 20 percent down with a $5 fee. If you cancel, another $5 fee with a gift card in the amount you put down.

"A lot of our layaways right now are Easter so they're putting it away for Easter and paying it out," explained Janet Jordan. "[It] gives them a chance to pay it out instead of having the money up front."

It is not just the big retailers doing it. Bare Wood furniture in Longview doesn't even use credit. They offer a 90 day layaway with 25 percent down, and a payment schedule of at least 25 percent every 30 days.

"You still have a payment plan you still have an option to pay it out but not cost you any more money in the process," said Burlington manager Mickey Mehrens. "We all know that's how credit card payments make their money."

Mehrens even said they'll work with customers in these tough times.

"We've had some customers call and they've lost their job and we like to work with them...'cause we want to sell it as much as they want to buy it," said Mehrens.

It is an old way of doing business, coming back to life, during this credit crunch.

Kmart, Sears, Marshall's, and Burlington Coat Factory are leading the pack with the big retailers, but some stores like Walmart discontinued their layaway plans.