Layaway May Help Stretch Shopping Dollars

Wednesday, November 19th 2008, 4:58 pm
By: News On 6

By Latoya Silmon, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- With the economy in crisis, money is tight.  As you try to stretch your dollar, some retailers hope giving you more time to buy will get you into the store. Layaway is making a comeback.

Some stores say this year more shoppers who can't pay now are opting to pay later.

"I think it's really rough.  It's tough for all Americans," said shopper Teresa Grant.

"It's impacting Tulsa quite a bit right now. I work in the recruiting field and a lot of companies are doing a lot of layoffs.  It's definitely going to have an impact on Christmas," said shopper Kurt Grider.

And, that will impact the bottom line of retailers who bank on your dollars this time of year.  But, a few of them like Drysdales have an extra incentive to get you to shop:  layaway.

"We've had layaway for 27 years and we're seeing an increase in layaway activity this year.  We're getting a lot of phone calls for people of do you take layaway," said Drysdales' CEO Jim McClure.

Paula Hite says it works for her.  She was picking up stuff she put on hold about three weeks ago.

"It's a little bit easier when you don't have all the money and you can't fork it out right then.  You can put it in layaway," said shopper Paula Hite.

That allows consumers to pay as they go.

Drysdale's says while some stores may not like holding onto your goods or fear that you may not pick them up which could cost them a sale, the service has its advantages.

"If someone has something in layaway and they're making regular payments, it's a way of getting them back into the store," said Drysdales' CEO Jim McClure.

Drysdales offers layaway until Christmas Eve, but its policy differs from store to store.  Not every retailer offers the service, but K-Mart and Gordmans do.