It returned slowly over the years, and it’s getting a lot of attention after a long dormancy. Layaway is that archaic way of paying for something over time — and you get to take it home when you pay it off — not when you sign on the dotted line. Most stores require 10 to 20 percent of the total purchase for your first payment and a $5 fee to hold your merchandise for 30 to 90 days, but right now some stores are waiving the $5 fee.
Sears, WalMart, Toys R Us, K-Mart, Marshall’s, and TJ Maxx are among the retailers offering it nationally but not in every city. Check your local store before you count on laying away gifts for the season.
I remember I put an expensive coat in layaway when I got my first real full-time job, and I was thrilled when I paid it off. I did the same thing for toys — especially bikes — for my kids. That was many bikes ago.
It’s a nice alternative to charging up a storm on your credit cards and dreading mail delivery. Happy shopping!