8 Stores That Offer Layaway Online and In Stores

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It might not be as popular a concept today, but layaway was pretty big once upon a time. 

Layaway — a payment plan where a consumer puts down a deposit on an item to “lay it away” for future pickup — cropped up during the Great Depression. In an era when the economy was extremely tight, layaway made it possible for retailers to sell pricier products to cash-strapped customers. 

Layaway programs started disappearing in the ‘80s when shoppers began to use credit cards to fund their big-ticket purchases. However, layaway had a resurgence around 2008, when the economic recession made people a little more cautious with their credit cards. 

Now, you can find layaway at a number of major retailers — particularly around the holidays. But layaway isn’t the right financing option for everyone. And it’s extremely rare — in fact, Walmart, which has steadily offered traditional layaway around the holidays the past several years, has ditched it in favor of partnering with buy now, pay later company Affirm.

To help you decide whether this payment program is right for you, we’ve created a comprehensive guide to everything you need to know about layaway, including how it works, important considerations and eight stores that offer this type of financing in 2022.

What Is Layaway?

Layaway is a payment system that lets you purchase an item over time in installments — interest-free. The store holds the item, typically in exchange for a deposit and/or small fee, until you finish making the installment payments. Once the item is paid off in full, you get to take your purchase home. 

How Does Layaway Work?

Layaway programs may vary slightly from store to store, most follow the same fundamental structure. Here’s how layaway typically works:

  • Step 1: Choose an item — Choose an item(s) you want to put on layaway. Some stores restrict layaway to items over a certain price or within certain departments, such as electronics, furniture and jewelry. 
  • Step 2: Put down a deposit and service fee — Some retailers require a certain percentage of the total purchase price, while others might allow you to choose the amount you want to put down. 
  • Step 3: Make incremental payments — Different stores may offer different payment scheduling options and varying lengths for their layaway programs. Depending on the program and factors like the price of your item, you may be able to make payments on a weekly, biweekly or monthly basis. Most stores require layaway purchases to be paid off in full within a year. 
  • Step 4: Bring home your item — After paying off your layaway purchase, you can pick it up at the store and bring it home. 

Which Stores Offer Layaway in 2022? 

1. Amazon Layaway

amazon layaway
Image: Amazon

Amazon has officially become one of the latest retailers to offer a payment program for multiple categories, including furniture, electronics, home goods and more.

Does Amazon Offer Layaway?

Yes! The layaway program is still in its infancy stage, but we’re so happy to say you can now purchase qualifying items on Amazon and pay for them over time. Amazon Layaway requires you to pay 20% of the cost of your purchase to start your layaway and lock in the price of your item, and then in incremental amounts every 2 weeks for a total of five payments. Eight weeks later when you’ve successfully paid for your order, Amazon ships it straight away.

If you plan to use Amazon Layaway for holiday gift-giving, your purchase needs to be made by Oct. 23rd, but can always be paid off early and shipped out as soon as it is. 

Note: Layaway is only available for items shipped and sold by Amazon and not available for orders shipping to Connecticut, Washington DC, Illinois, Maryland, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

Amazon Layaway Lowdown:

  • Service fee: None.
  • Down payment: None, but pay 20% to reserve the item, which goes toward the cost of the purchase.
  • Cancellation fee: None.
  • Pay as you go online without fees or credit checks.
  • Look for eligible products with a “Reserve with Layaway” label.
  • Pay off your layaway early for earlier delivery.

See the full Amazon Layaway policy.

2. Army & Air Force Exchange Service

Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) is a military retailer with store locations around the world. AAFES offers affordably priced brand-name apparel, home essentials and other goodies both in stores and online. 

Does AAFES Offer Layaway? 

Yes; AAFES allows in-store shoppers to put eligible purchases of $25 or more on layaway. The retailer offers a 30-day layaway program for apparel and accessories, a 60-day layaway program for all other merchandise (aside from jewelry) and a 120-day layaway program for jewelry. AAFES requires a 15% deposit on all layaway purchases, plus a service fee of $3 and a $5 cancellation fee. 

AAFES Layaway Lowdown:

  • 30-day layaway for all clothing, handbags and shoes.
  • 60-day layaway for all other merchandise (except jewelry).
  • 120-day layaway for fine jewelry.
  • In-store purchases only.
  • Service fee: $3.
  • Down payment: 15% of the purchase price.
  • Cancellation fee: $5.

See the full AAFES layaway policy

3. Big Lots

A sprawling retail chain, Big Lots sells everything from electronics and toys to home goods and household essentials. 

Does Big Lots Offer Layaway? 

Yes, but only on furniture purchases at select locations. With the Big Lots “Price Hold” program, they typically ask for 10% of the purchase price as a deposit and will hold an item for 90 days. Some stores charge a non-refundable $5 fee, so be sure to ask. Keep in mind — terms may vary from store to store. 

Another unique service offered at select stores is their “Progressive Leasing” program. They allow customers to take home large items, such as furniture, mattresses, grills and outdoor equipment and pay over the course of an agreed-on lease period. You need to register for an account to participate, and payments are automatically withdrawn from your account.

The Big Lots Layaway Lowdown:

Price Hold: 

  • For in-store furniture purchases at select locations. 
  • Service fee: $0.
  • Down payment: 10% (some locations have a $5 fee).
  • Cancellation fee: $5 (varies by location).

Progressive Leasing: 

  • $49 deposit. 
  • 90-day purchase option in most states (three-month purchase option in California). 
  • Payments are withdrawn automatically from your account.

See the full Big Lots Price Hold and Progressive Leasing policies. 

4. Burlington Stores

burlington layaway
Image: Burlington

In addition to coats, Burlington Stores (formerly known as Burlington Coat Factory) also offers men and women’s apparel, home goods, and beauty products.  

Does Burlington Offer Layaway? 

Yes; the Burlington Coat Factory layaway policy is identical to the policy of its subsidiary, Baby Depot. Participating Burlington Coat Factory locations offer a year-round 30-day in-store layaway program, requiring a minimum of $10 or 20% down — whichever is greater. Also, they also require a $5 service fee, plus a $10 cancellation fee.

Note: Layaway will be held for less than 30 days when placed between Nov. 19 and December 12.

Burlington Layaway Lowdown:

  • In-store purchases only.
  • Service fee: $5 in most states ($1 in Maryland). 
  • Down payment: $10 or 20%, whichever is greater. 
  • Cancellation fee: $10.
  • Last day for layaway in 2022: Dec. 12.

See the full Burlington Store layaway policy. Note: Not all Burlington locations offer layaway.

5. Hallmark Gold Crown

Hallmark Gold Crown is renowned for its greeting cards, but the retail chain also offers ornaments and gifts. 

Does Hallmark Gold Crown Offer Layaway? 

Yes, but only from July to December. The 90-day program requires a 20% deposit, in addition to contact info. Layaway policies vary by location, so be sure to confirm details with a sales associate. 

Hallmark’s Layaway Lowdown:

  • Available July — December. 
  • Service fee: Varies.
  • Down payment: 20%.

See the full Hallmark Gold Crown layaway policy

6. Kmart

kmart layaway
Image: Kmart

A subsidiary of Sears, Kmart sells everything from clothing and toys to appliances and sporting goods both online and in stores

Does Kmart Offer Layaway? 

Yes; Kmart lets you place select items on layaway in-store (although few locations still exist), online and via the app. The retailer offers two different layaway plans: an eight-week and a 12-week program. Note that the 12-week layaway program is available only in-store on items priced at $300 or more.  

Both the eight- and 12-week programs require you to put down a deposit of $10 and make payments every two weeks. Payments can be made in-store or online. If you miss a layaway payment, you have a seven-day grace period before your contract is canceled. 

Kmart Layaway Lowdown:

8-week Contract:

  • Available for online, in-store and app purchases. 
  • Down payment: $10.
  • Service fee: $5. 
  • Cancellation fee: $10.
  • Payments: every two weeks (four payments total). 

12-week Contract:

  • Available for in-store purchases of $300+.
  • Service fee: $10.
  • Down payment: $10.
  • Cancellation fee: $20.
  • Payments: every two weeks (six payments total).

See the full Kmart layaway program

7. Sears

Although Sears has shut down most, if not all, locations, you can still shop the retailer online for appliances, tools, mattresses, auto and more. 

Does Sears Offer Layaway? 

Yes; the Sears layaway policy is identical to the policy of its subsidiary, Kmart. Layaway at Sears lets you place select items on layaway in-store, online and via the app. Like Kmart, Sears offers two different layaway plans: an eight-week and a 12-week program.   

Both the eight- and 12-week programs require you to put down a deposit of $10 and make payments every two weeks. Payments can be made in-store or online. If you miss a layaway payment, you have a 14-day grace period before your contract is canceled. 

Sears Layaway Lowdown:

8-week Contract

  • Available for online, in-store and app purchases. 
  • Down payment: $10.
  • Service fee: $5.
  • Cancellation fee: $10.
  • Payments: every two weeks (four payments total). 

12-week Contract

  • Available for in-store purchases of $300+.
  • Service fee: $10.
  • Down payment: $10.
  • Cancellation fee: $20.
  • Payments: every two weeks (six payments total).

See the full Sears layaway program

8. Walmart Buy Now, Pay Later

A big-box giant with stores around the world, Walmart hooks shoppers with everything from groceries to high-end laptops to affordable patio furniture

Does Walmart Offer Layaway? 

Not in the traditional sense. Walmart offered traditional layaway through the 2020 holiday season. But as of Sept. 2021, Walmart has partnered with Affirm, a buy online pay later program. That means no more layaway counters. Instead, Walmart shoppers can prequalify online for the amount needed. Then, you receive a single-use barcode to scan in-store at the register and pay off Affirm in monthly installments or for use online for purchases.

Walmart Layaway Lowdown (Now with Affirm):

  • Service fee: N/A
  • Financing: 0%* to 30% APR, depending on your credit score and special offers.
  • Down payment: N/A
  • Can prequalify for $144 to $2,000.
  • Ability to finance over three, six, 12 or 24 months.
  • Some categories are ineligible, including pet supplies, tobacco, groceries, food, baby consumables, weapons, ammunition and more.

Note: *Interest-free promotional financing offers are for qualifying Walmart.com products and available for a limited time. See the full Walmart Layaway financing policy with Affirm.  

What to Know Before You Put Something on Layaway

Compared to other financing methods, layaway can be an appealing option because it doesn’t charge interest or impact your credit score. That said, layaway does come with its share of drawbacks. Here are six things to consider before putting something on layaway: 

1. There Are (Usually) Fees Involved

Although layaway plans are interest-free, most retailers charge some or all of these fees: 

  • Service fee: In addition to a down payment, most stores will charge a service fee (usually between $5 and $15) to cover the cost of storing your item and processing multiple payments. 
  • Cancellation fee: If you cancel your plan or you cannot make all payments by a certain date, a retailer may charge you a cancellation fee. With some stores, this could be as much as $100. 
  • Restocking fee: In addition to a cancellation fee, some stores might also require you to pay a restocking fee to cover the cost of returning a layaway item to the shelves.

These fees make layaway an impractical option for financing smaller purchases — for instance, if you pay a $10 service fee to put a $40 blender on layaway, you’d be tacking a whopping 25% onto the price. 

2. You (Usually) Need To Put Down a Deposit

Unlike credit card purchases, layaway financing typically requires that you put down a deposit for your item. The amount a store requires for a deposit may vary by store but could be as much as 10% — a hefty chunk of change on larger purchases. 

3. You Might Get Only Store Credit Back

Some retailers may refund your money in the form of original payment, but others might only offer store credit. It’s important to understand the details of each store’s layaway plan before entering into an agreement. 

4. Layaway Requires Some Planning

Particularly if you need items by a certain date (say, the holidays or a birthday), layaway can require some planning ahead. For example, if you enter a 12-week layaway agreement on a Christmas present, you’ll need to place an item on layaway in early September at the latest. 

5. You May Have To Comply With Strict Payment Terms

Many layaway plans include stringent payment terms. If you miss an installment — either because you forget or are unable to pay — you could lose your item. Before opting to use layaway, see if there’s a set payment schedule, or if the store has flexibility with the payoff structure. Plus, layaway has some implications when it comes to shopping during tax-free weekends — and you’ll need to follow certain rules to ensure your layaway purchases get waived sales tax.

6. You Might Miss Out on a Sale.

After placing an item on layaway, there’s always a chance it could drop in price or go on sale — particularly around the Thanksgiving season. Make sure you review the terms carefully to see if you are allowed to have a price adjustment for items on layaway. 

Online Layaway: The Future of Layaway

Over the last couple of years, layaway has been making a comeback. This time, however, the time-honored payment plan has a fresh technological makeover. 

Many retailers are partnering with online layaway service providers like Afterpay, QuadPay, and Klarna to let shoppers set up online installment plans. Different layaway companies offer different plans with different payment options.

Here’s a quick rundown of what the key layaway apps offer: 

  • AfterpayThousands of retailers, including Ulta, Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie use Afterpay, which lets customers set up layaway plans ranging from three to twelve months. Afterpay doesn’t charge any additional fees as long as you make your payments on time, and you are allowed to reschedule payments up to three times per year. 
  • KlarnaSephora, Finish Line, Macy’s and many other retailers use Klarna to hook their shoppers up with layaway options. Klarna offers different payment options, including a few with interest.
  • QuadPayA few of the many retailers that use QuadPlay include GameStop, Amazon, Old Navy and Target. QuadPay lets you pay off purchases over four installments scheduled over a six-week period.

One key difference between online and traditional layaway? Most online layaway companies let you receive your item immediately, instead of waiting until you complete your installment payments and pay off your entire purchase.

The post 8 Stores That Offer Layaway Online and In Stores appeared first on The Real Deal by RetailMeNot.