A Guide to the Stores With Generous Back-to-School Layaway Programs
Layaway provides options for easing the cost of back-to-school shopping
One way to manage a tight budget and still buy the back-to-school items your children need is by shopping at stores that offer layaway programs. Since back-to-school shopping is the biggest selling period before the holidays, some retailers include products that normally are excluded from their layaway programs.
To attract customers during the busy back-to-school season, stores often make the layaway program more appealing by temporarily changing policies.
Down payments get waived, pickup dates might be extended, and incentives like store gift certificates sometimes are rewarded to shoppers when they pay off their layaway. It is a good idea to compare the layaway programs at different stores during busy times of the year.
As of 2018, stores that traditionally offer back-to-school layaway programs include Burlington Coat Factory, Kmart, Marshalls, Sears, and Toys R Us/Babies R Us.
Burlington Coat Factory
Burlington Coat Factory offers an in-store layaway program that requires a 20 percent deposit plus a $5 nonrefundable service fee. A $10 cancellation fee is charged for a canceled layaway. A store gift card, rather than a cash refund, typically is issued for any remaining balance or refund due to the customer.
For more information on Burlington Coat Factory's layaway program, contact the customer service department at your local store.
Layaway is available for in-store and online Kmart shoppers.
Shoppers have two layaway options to choose from.
8-Week Option: The eight-week option is available in-store and online. The minimum deposit on a new layaway is $10, plus a nonrefundable $5 service fee. The remaining balance after the deposit is broken down into four payments. There is a $10 cancellation fee.
12-Week Option: The 12-week option is available in-store only with a total purchase of $300 or more at select stores. The minimum deposit is $10, plus a nonrefundable $10 service fee. The remaining balance, after the deposit, is broken down into six payments. There is a $20 cancellation fee.
Layaway merchandise is returned to stock seven days after a missed payment except where prohibited by law. For additional information and to view exclusions, contact the customer service department at your local store.
Select Marshalls locations offer shoppers a 30-day layaway plan with a $10 minimum down payment or 10 percent of the total purchase, whichever is greater. A $5 nonrefundable service fee also is charged. Minimum payment amounts and service fees may vary by state. Layaways not picked up within 30 days are returned to stock, and a $5 cancellation fee will be charged.
Some items, including jewelry, furniture, food, and products on sale cannot be placed on layaway. Other restrictions may apply. Contact the customer service department at your local store to find out if it participates in the layaway program.
Sears offers a layaway program that requires no money down in-store and one penny down online.
Customers have two layaway options to choose from.
8-Week Option: The eight-week option is available in-store and online and is broken down into four payments. There is a $5 nonrefundable service fee and a $15 cancellation charge.
12-Week Option: The 12-week option is available in-store only on purchases of $400 or more. The balance is broken down into six payments. There is a $10 nonrefundable service fee and a $25 cancellation charge. For both options, payments can be made at the store or online.
Toys R Us and Babies R Us
Toys R Us offers an in-store layaway program with the following policies:
- Shoppers have 90 days to pay off their layaways.
- There is no minimum purchase amount to be eligible for layaway.
- There is a $5 set-up fee, and shoppers are charged a cancellation fee. Check with your local store for details.
- Upfront fees sometimes are waived during promotional "free layaway" periods.
- A deposit of at least 10 percent of the total price of the purchase and a $5 service fee are due when the merchandise is put into layaway.
- Shoppers may make additional payments at any time, but payments must be made every 30 days as follows: 40 percent of the total price of the order within 30 days; 70 percent within 60, and the total price of the order must be paid within 90 days.