Can I Put that on Layaway?
By David Dorf on Nov 13, 2008
The current economic conditions should make for an interesting holiday shopping season. The only positive thing I've seen is that gas prices continue to drop ($1.98 a gallon near my house), so maybe that will get shoppers out. Regardless, retailers are going to have to get creative if they want people to spend money.
An old-fashioned form a credit that might make a comeback is the layaway. K-Mart, which has offered layaway for years, started promoting it last month with apparent success. So Sears is bringing their layaway program back for this holiday season. This could make a difference for shoppers who are already over-extended on their credit.
Wisely, Sears will not offer layaway for appliances and consumer electronics. Those big ticket items take up too much space, and go obsolete too quickly. Imagine making payments on an HD-DVD player only to find that Blu-Ray won the war. What looked good 2 months ago can be quickly replaced by something better in the world of CE. When the consumer changes his mind, the retailer is stuck with a product that is practically obsolete and must be put on clearance.
I wonder what other programs and promotions retailers will use to get shoppers in their stores?