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. Because 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. Often, down payments are waived and pickup dates might be extended. Also, 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 this busy time of the year.
As of 2019, stores that traditionally offer back-to-school layaway programs include Burlington Coat Factory, Marshalls, and TJ Maxx.
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.
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. Also, layaways not picked up within 30 days are returned to stock, and a $5 cancellation fee will be charged.
Select items, including jewelry, furniture, food, and products on sale cannot be placed on layaway. Other restrictions may apply. You should contact the customer service department at your local store to find out if it participates in the layaway program because the program isn't available at every Marshalls.
TJ Maxx offers a layaway program that requires you to pay a $5 nonrefundable fee to hold an item on layaway. The 30-day program has a $10 minimum down payment or 10 percent of the total purchase price, typically whichever is the higher number.
Not all items can be placed on layaway, but the restrictions are set based on the store in question. In addition, not all TJ Maxx stores offer layaway. If you visit the company's website and enter your zip code into the "store finder" field, click "advanced search" and then check the box for "layaway available." That will bring up the list of stores that offer layaway.
There are many other stores that offer layaway programs, including online options. Take some time to explore them and you might find great ways to afford the school supplies that your children need.