Retailers may have been excited about the potential benefits of revamped layaway policies, but according to an article in the Houston Chronicle, several recent surveys show that the excitement is not shared with consumers.
While Walmart and Toys 'R' Us have released numbers indicating year-over-year growth of their respective layaway policies, research from BIGinsight indicated that shoppers had little interest in the retail tactic. Only 12.3 percent of holiday shoppers told BIGinsight that they use or planned to use layaway this season, a slight dip from 12.7 percent last year. At this point in the holiday season, most layaway programs have closed to new accounts, the article reported.
Other surveys pegged consumer interest as low as 9 percent, while the CFI Group found that of the shoppers it surveyed, more than two-thirds of them were less likely to take advantage of layaway offerings this year as compared to last year, according to the article.
"With a flatlining number of consumers boarding the layaway train for 2012, it appears that this Great Depression-era policy is more bygone gimmick rather than a modern day marvel," Pam Goodfellow, director of consumer insight for BIGinsight, wrote in an analysis of the firm's survey.
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