(9/16/06) - What is your reaction to Wal-Mart's plan to close its layaway department?

Published: Sep. 19, 2006 at 11:44 AM EDT|Updated: Nov. 13, 2007 at 5:56 AM EST
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What is your reaction to Wal-Mart's plan to close its layaway department?

  • DF, Blythewood
    I do not need to use Walmart's layaway plan, but for those who do, it is a sad day. Many people can't afford to purchase out right and need this service. I am afraid many children will not have the Merry Christmas from Santa that they use to have. Shame on Sam Walton's heirs. I am sure he is turning over in his grave. Greed and lack of caring for the customer will get you no where. Let's all find another retailer who will appreciate our business.
  • AW, Elgin
    I think it's a bad idea. It's going to hurt the people who rely on it for the holidays. I have always been a Wal-Mart shopper but will now go elsewhere to shop.
  • TR, Irmo
    I think it's terrible that Walmart would eliminate layaway as an option for those that can't afford to provide for their children or buy big ticket items any other way. I emailed them and told them this decision will cause me and others to choose layaway with their competitors.
  • BP, Lugoff
    I feel Wal-marts decision to end the Lay-a-Way program is selfish and wrong. I took advantage of this program for several years while I was getting established financially. If not for Lay-a-Way, my children would have had some very lean Christmases in years past. I thank God for his blessings, and the fact that I no-longer rely on programs like this, but for the simple fact that I did at one time, and understand those that still do, I will no-longer be spending my hard earned money with Wal-Mart. I feel the company is not being run in the fashion that it's founder, Sam Walton, would have intended. Wal-mart is NOT losing money on it's Lay-a-Way department, they just aren't making a 120% profit as they would by selling directly off the shelf. For this, I'll be makeing my purchases elsewhere. Wal-Mart is NOT the only store in town.
  • SW, Gilbert
    There will be so many people upset. A lot of people depend on the day after thanksgiving to place Christmas on layaway. I use the layaway through out the whole year. I have 3 kids, and it helps to have the layaway for the birthdays, Easter, ect. I really hope that they do not stop the layaway.
  • SC, Columbia
    I do understand that this new policy is going to make it very difficult for some people to buy Christmas gifts, but, honestly, why is this such a big news item? I agree with others that there are much greater things going on right now than Wal-Mart discontinuing its Lay-Away department. If people do primarily use Lay-Away to purchase Christmas gifts, this is giving them plenty of notice to start saving money to purchase these items up-front.
  • BC, Irmo
    Wal-Mart is a business and as with all business, it is the profit margin. I am sure that discontinuing layaway will cause many to rethink their purchases and maybe to take their business elsewhere. I have never used layaway but I know several that have and they never abused it. Maybe they have saved so much money that they can now build many more stores - why do we need a Wal-Mart in Ballentine - Harbison is not that far away. You will now have one in Ballentine, Harbison and Bush River. That was not the question of the day but I could not resist the comment.
  • BG, Lexington
    I think K-Mart has just won alot of business. Maybe now they will increase the variety in their stores. I wish people would research some of the issues/concerns Walmart does support - it will definitely change your opinion.
  • KL, Lexington
    WAKE UP AMERICA! Do you really believe Walmart has the best prices? Have you shopped at Eckerds, Food Lion, and Bi-Lo. Or how about the Meat Market? Have you actually compared prices to Walmart? While it may have been true years ago, that Walmart had the best prices, it isn't so now. And don't just do a comparison on a few items. Make a list of your regularly purchased items and make a comparison overall. Take their soft drinks for instance, do they ever have special? NO. Check Food Lion and Bi-lo's .89 specials. How about paint? More expensive than Sherwin Williams and I'm sure not as good. How about beef? Extra lean,95% from the meat market at $2.59-2.89/lb vs Walmart's price of only 80% lean for $3.23/lb. How about the canned veggies. Green giant at Walmart for .52/can or Bi-lo at .25/can on special? or Coffee 1.00 less per pound at Bi-Lo and Food Lion. You'll be surprised at your real saving at Walmart over other stores, AND you don't have to spend so much time standing in line!! As for the layaway. I know plenty of peopel who use it. It isn't that they are that poor. After all, they have to have their manicures, pedicures, cell phones, and nice clothes for all members of the family. They just don't have their priorties straight and don't want to pay full price at once for Christmas or Birthdays. But they can afford everything else they want!!!
  • se, leesville
    I can not get over it. What in my circumstance am i gonna do w/o layaway. I am a single parent of two young children and that is how i purchase clothes, christmas ect.I do not the kind of money to go into a store a purchase any one item i chose at that time.My children come first by all means i will go with out as long as my kids are taking care of,that is what matters.Times are very hard and everyone may feel a little pinch in their pocket from time to time but when you have to question yourself DO I BUY GROCIRIES OR DO I PAY THE POWER BILL. then you can tell me about taking away sources like layaway.When it comes to clothing my children and getting thing's from santa i generally depend on walmart for their selection oppose to k-mart.but it looks like k-mart will be getting business this year i will not suppport a millon dollar chain if they cannot supply the consumer with the needs they depend on everyday of the year.
  • JP, Columbia
    You cannot blame WalMart. It is a money drain on them. It cost $$$ to have employees adminster the lay-away, they have to have a place to store them, more $$$$. They have a larger inventory to maintain and keep track of *$$$$**. The other customers have to pay extra so that the lay-away folks can continue to take advantage of it. On the whole, its just not worth it. You cannot expect the stockholders to put up with losing money keeping lay-away available.
  • MS, Lexington
    Who really cares? There are American soldiers dying for this country and WIS is worried about a lay away program????? Open your eyes to the REAL issues in America.
  • EM, Florence
    They will loose alot of business. Wal-Mart is money hungry. They do not care about people who are on budget. I can see this because they want to close their layaway department. Everyone needs to see "The High Cost of Low Living" It's about Wal-Mart..."The Evil Empire" If you have not seen it I recommend that you do. It will change your mind about shopping at Wal-Mart ever again.
  • cw, lexington
    W.A. from Columbia needs to go back to school and learn how to spell, it's MISTAKE, not missteak...
  • AM, Columbia
    Wal-Mart is very stupid. There's an easy fix to them losing money from people who don't full-fill their layaway contract - penalty charge! Sheesh! Instead, how much smarter are they to do away with layaway right before the holiday season? Morons. And they still wonder why I quit after only 4 months???
  • RD, Greenwood
    Walmart is always looking at the bottom line although they advertise being employee and customer friendly. Taking away this practice prevents those without credit cards from buying big ticket items or Christmas purchases.
  • SO, Lugoff
    It is not surprising. Wal-Mart has control of the retail world and can now dictate how the game is played. The same people who made them what they are will now suffer because they are "Above their raising", so to speak.
  • IP, columbia
    If you can't save the money to buy what you need how is that Wal-Mart's problem.
  • BS, Lexington
    I think they should keep it. The people that use it usually have to use it because they need to make payments to be able to afford the items and now they will not be able to by Christmas gifts and other stuff because it will all be gone by the time the can afford it. I think it is a bad idea to get rid of Layaway.
  • KK,
    I don't think it's a good idea. A lot of people depend on layaway to get their Christmas presents and that will make it a whole lot harder to accomplish that.
  • JV, Harbison
    I guess now it's time to wait until you actually have enough money before you buy things you really can't afford in the first place. Just a hunch,though...
  • EW, Williston
    If the lay away plan isn't working , why have I had to stand in line for over 20-30 minutes the last few years to get my lay away out? I do not believe Wal-Mart studied the number of lay aways , I believe they just wanted to cut a few positions. Most of the remodeled Wal-Marts discontinued that area in a Wal-Mart as well as the snack area which I visited while I was on my 1 -2 hour Wal-Mart shopping trip. Target still has a snack area where I can go get a drink and sit and rest a few minutes if I need to do so. All customers are not buggy bumpers trying to see how fast they can go in Wal-Mart.
  • SW, Columbia
    They're closing layaway because people have been abusing it and using it as more of a bank than it's intended purpose. People go in, place things on layaway at the beginning of the month, then come back at the end and ask for their deposit back. Doing that ties up items from being sold by people who really want them. If you want to buy something, save up for it and go pay cash. It's really not that hard.
  • WA, Columbia
    I think this is a missteak on their part and belive others will benifit from it - K-Mart Target ect.
  • LR, Ridgeway
    Walmarts foreign stores went bust and they are selling those. They capped merit pay,stopped layaway and thank heavens I didn't buy stock in that company. I believe layaway is an essential part of their business.
  • KV, Irmo
    I agree with bc from Gilbert.  This State needs to get their priorities in line and stop making a atupid bar fight big news and worry more about low pact scores, the homeless, our kids in gangs killing other children, our ridiculously high school fees that should be being paid by our taxes, I could go on and on with issues in SC that need addressing other than Wal-mart's policies and an of age college kid in a bar fight.
  • KE, Columbia
    I have never used layaway very much at any store, but I know that lots of folks do, especially around the holidays.  At least people still have a little time left to use it.  Maybe holiday shopping will have to be done a bit earlier.  It's really a shame that Wal-Mart is taking something away that so many depend on...but it sounds like them..the only thing that counts is the bottom line.  I have never played the lottery here..or anywhere..but if I did, I would pray to win so I could afford to stop shopping at Wal-Mart.  It's a bit like a company store, isn't it? Wages aren't high enough for most folks to survive, so shopping has to be done at stores like Wal-Mart, where things are barely more affordable.
  • AM, Batesburg
    My Aunt and my Granny put mine and my cousin's Christmas on lay-a-way and now my Aunt & Granny is going to shop somewhere else.  My Aunt says no thank you to a W-Mart Credit Card she hadn't been long got out from under Credit Card debt and she's not about to get back in it again & I agree with her it was a struggle to pay it off.  This is why we use the lay-a-way.  Why doesn't W-M get smart and chage a restocking fee for items that are returned.  Other stores do it why not them.  Since these dummies have decided to do this I hope their business drops .... Close Wal-Mart

  • MR, Columbia
    i think they should go out of bussiness. every store i've been in have been either dirty, boxes all over the place or very rude and unpleasant employees.

  • PR, Lexington
    Lay-away is better then credit cards.Personal finance is at a low we all owe plastic more money then we have.
    Lay-a-way has always been a way to get what you needed/wanted without paying the extra interest that credi cards charge. To bad they're doing this but they're in business to make money.

  • BS, Hopkins
    Online shopping purchases are more to blame for the loss of layaways at Wal-Mart than anything.  Just stop to think before yelling...the saved wages of not having to pay an employee to oversee one package each day will be reflected in lower costs on other items within the store.  The overall picture must be looked at.  The decision to eliminate layaway will benefit more in the long run...don't look at the short version.  If you have no where to "hide" those Christmas packages, go online or find a "friend" who can assist you.  Wal-Mart is not the only company eliminating layaway programs but is the most noticeable here in Columbia.

  • AB, Gaston
    I think that Wal-Mart is making a mistake because those families that can't afford the items desired at the time and put them on layaway will be loosing out on a lot of things.  People use layaway for birthdays, Christmas, even on big purchased items.  Maybe, Wal-Mart should make new arrangements for the layaway instead of stopping it.

  • MG, Columbia
    This is not really a surprise.  With the many readily available credit options these days, there really is no need for layaway programs. If one doesn't have the money to purchase an item by paying for it all at once, then muster up an ounce or two of PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY and save your money to buy the item.  Wal-Mart doesn't need to operate as your personal bank.

  • CB, Lugoff
    i can understand wal-mart doing this many customers put items on layaway put down the required 10% down and never come back to make any other payments its takes alot of time (payroll) to get thru all the layaways and pull the ones that no payments have been made on them i work in retail and we have already stopped layaways just for this reason

  • BY, West Columbia
    This is the tend of business today and you have to keep up. Hurt Wal-Mart--NO.  People will soon forget we ever had layaway and Wal-Mart will continue to grow.  We must change with the times.  I'm thankful for all the good jobs and opportunies they present to a community.

  • CN, Sumter
    I think this is a mistake on Walmart's part. Many families can not afford to buy things at the holidays all at one time and must use a layaway plan to be able to get the things they need. I think Walmart will lose customers to other businesses. Especially with the timing of it this year. If they are having special sales on Black Friday without the chance for layaway I think their sales will drop.
  • CJ, Orangeburg
    I think this will push people to shop at other stores, that will let them layaway. Maybe this is what needs to happen to wal-mart.  They don't seem to care about people or there feeling. Besides half the time they loose your layaway, and have to refund your money.  This also stops people from going in there the day after thanks giving putting items on layaway. This should be for the people who have money that day.
  • JS, Irmo
    I've got a better idea: Close Wal-Mart!
  • GQ, Columbia
    Consumers should be thanking Walmart for doing them a favor.  If you do not have cash money to purchase the item and pay for it in full then you can do without it.
  • CG, Columbia
    Wal Mart is thinking of both consumer and themselves. Ending layaways due to non paying customers who put hundreds of dollars on layaway and then do not follow through costs Wal Mart lots of money in the end and consumers as well who wind up paying higher prices due to these people who put the layaways on with no way to realistically pay for them or having no intentions of paying for it in the first place. But this also hurts the people who use layaway as a means to purchase items they otherwise would not be able to do. I feel K Mart will be getting alot of new business this holdiay season so cutting out layaways may back fire on Wal Mart. But ultimately there are more important things to be worrying about now days.
  • BC, Gilbert
    I'm wondering why we are worried about making Wal-mart and Blake Mitchell top stories when the results the PACT tests are in and the education in this state stinks!
  • DT, West Columbia
    I'm sure we're going to get a lot of posts here about how big bad Wal-Mart is beating up poor little consumers, but I don't see how anyone who really thinks about the question can see it in such stark, black & white terms. People who do are simply reacting emotionally, but that's not how business operates. Wal-Mart executives aren't stupid, nor totally heartless. But like good business people everywhere, their eye is certainly fixed on the bottom line. These executives know that this change will effect a certain number of people, who will be angry because of it. They also know that it costs money to provide the service. The reported reason is that demand for the layaway service is down while the costs of maintaining it are up. It just sounds like good business sense to end the service.
  • LH, West Columbia
    Good decision. Everyone should pay cash.
  • GG, Columbia
    Walmart gets so much business,that's the least they could do is to allow their customers who don't have cash money to laywawy items. They could have at least waited until the first of the year to start the no layaway. The customers who they were having problems with concerning layaways should not have been allowed to put anything else on layaway. Don't penalize everyone for a other people who never got their layaways off. I will take my business to Kmart.
  • NL, Columbia
    This is just another example that Wal-Mart is all about them and not the consumer. Wal-Mart was originally started for America to sell American made products and allow the American people to purchase these items at low prices. They should change their colors because they don't support America. Instead they support China. Most people I know used their layaway for Christmas. Shame on them for taking a lot of peoples hope for a better Christmas for their family away.
  • TP, Sumter
    I think that is the most craziest thing that I have ever heard. Some people are not fortunate to buy things straight out. What will all of the parents do who have children that are in school and they usually put their back to school purchases on layaway and then what about christmas when I think layaway is being used the most. Needless to say their will be alot of kids that will be left out because their parents can't afford to buy them gifts straight out. Unless of course they got to another store that offers layway. I feel that Wal-Mart will lose some business behind this decision.
  • BP, Lexington
    Wal Mart has a layaway department?
  • LC, West Columbia
    I strongly feel that it's a way to encourage more people to use credit cards. Some of us are not able to outright buy expensive items and find that layaway is the best option short of using a credit card. I hope Wal-Mart loses a lot of business. I know that they have lost most of mine.