Experts who sounded the death knell for layaway were too quick with the eulogies.
The slumping economy has prodded many merchants for the first time in years to promote this form of installment buying, which dates from the Great Depression. Anecdotal evidence suggests layaway is gaining traction with tapped-out consumers.
Wal-Mart stopped taking layaway orders in 2006, citing an era of easy credit and the headaches of handling the goods. Well, guess what? Consumer credit is getting tighter at a time when rising joblessness, foreclosures and prices make it harder to pay off credit card debt.
“The American consumer didn’t vote to end layaway, only retailers,” said Michael Bilello, vice president of business development for eLayway.com, a three-year-old Tallahassee startup that handles layaway for 1,000 retailers and wants to be the PayPal of a revived industry. “People this year are wising up to their parents’ advice: If you can’t pay in full, try layaway.”
In this economy, layaway is in vogue Tampabay.com, FL – 2 hours ago Consumer credit is getting tighter at a time when rising joblessness, foreclosures and prices make it harder to pay off credit card debt . …