Report: Layaway back at Walmart

NEW YORK — Walmart is bringing back its layaway program this holiday season, responding to pressures on low income consumers, MarketWatch reported.

Walmart, which canceled the program in 2006, except for fine jewelery, based on costs and limited use, is bringing back the program at its Walmart U.S. stores for Oct. 17 to Dec. 16 for electronics and toys, according to the report.

Items available for layawy must cost at least $15 each and total basket size must total at least $50 in order to qualify for layaway, MarketWatch reported. A 10% down payment is required plus a $5 service fee, and the company will charge a $10 cancellation fee if merchandise isn’t picked up by Dec. 16, MarketWatch said.

According to the report, Walmart's chief merchandising officer Duncan Mac Naughton said the retailer decided to bring back layaway based on feedback from store managers, focus groups, customer letters and phone calls. 

“The purpose is to address our customers’ requests,” he told MarketWatch. “Our customers are still struggling. There’s a fragile economy. They need our help. We really think this is an opportunity for our cash-paying customers.”