Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Thoughts on layaway

Wal-Mart announced Thursday, Sept. 14 that they are bringing the gate down on Layaway.

I had been hearing rumors and figured it was coming. I don't know if they are going to even do Black Friday layaways this year or not. I worked Black Friday last year - remember the near-riot?

This move is all about money. Wal-Mart has major plans to promote that blue Wal-Mart credit card with that smiling yellow face on it. Here's why.

Layaway as it runs right now is a free service. You get items, you go back to layaway and put 10% down. You have 60 days to pay the item off and you can extend for a while if you keep making payment. If you DO NOT pay the item off, Wal-Mart takes the the merchandise back - AND GIVES YOU YOUR MONEY BACK - for free, no questions asked. All this time, we've had the expense of storing the item, keeping track of your money, doing all the paperwork on the merchandise AND paying Layaway associates. Remember the layaway addicts?

Now with the Wal-Mart credit card, you take the stuff home. And then you owe that money. Wal-Mart doesn't have to keep track of your merchandise or your money. If you don't pay up, Wal-Mart will ruin your credit. The only way you will get your money back is if you bring in the merchandise - within 90 days AND with a receipt. Otherwise, all you're going to get is store credit - which must be spent at Wal-mart! It is a deviously brilliant plan.

And instead of the 60 days you get free on layaway - Wal-Marts credit cards start charging you interest after 30 days. More free money for Wal-mart - just for buying more Wal-mart crap! There's no way the company loses here.

There is no way Wal-mart was going to let all that credit card money just sit on the table. Of course they're going to sucker poor people in with the "90 days no interest" ploy, then charge them 24.99% interest for that big screen TV they had to have. And so little by little, Wal-Mart will contribute more to the destruction of America.

Don't be shocked to start seeing a table with credit-card pitchmen at every Wal-mart store. Each store is most likely soon going to have to meet a certain quota of credit card applications per week or month.

Wal-Mart has major ambitions in the banking industry. They've tried for years to get a bank off the ground but can't get past the regulatory hurdles. They're already in bed with Discover for credit cards. CitiBank has a chain of banks. Within five years, I bet Discover will too - backed by the Walton money.

Wal-Mart SuperCenters are pretty close to one-stop shopping right now. There are groceries, merchandise, a hair salon (owned by Regis), a fast-food joint (usually McDonalds), a nail salon, one-hour photo, a Tire & Lube Express, a garden center, a pharmacy, a vision center, a portrait studio (owned by PCA International), a bank and some newer SuperCenters have either embroiderery shops or travel agencies.

About the only thing missing is a dry cleaner and a post office - and we got a stamp machine about two months ago.

I think our SuperCenter is just waiting for the Hometown Threads (embroidery) shop to end its lease before they get tossed out and put in a Wal-Mart travel agency.


mrbenning said...

I've heard some Wal Marts even have a dentist. Is that true?

Anonymous said...

Hey Guys and Gals. Know what I say when they have those tables set up at the front door or anyhwhere else??? I already have one. They just don't know which one. Sure not a Wallmart card!!!! And it gets paid off every month too. A

Carmen said...

What about their customers that cannot get credit? That was probably the bulk of the layaway people I would imagine. Or they would have flat out bought the product to begin with. I agree it has to be a huge pain in the ass to deal with layaway, but might this alienate customers?

Chimera said...

While I understand the reason(s) for getting rid of layaway, I'm really going to be sorry to see it go. For me, it was a very convenient way of putting my mark on some bulky items until I could find someone with a truck to get them home for me. It also allowed me to work better within my budget to be able to pay a portion at a time.

But I'm one of those people who absolutely refuses to have a credit card -- even just a "store" credit card. I will not pay interest!

One option I have left is the gift cards. The problem with those is that once I've got enough money on the gift cards to pay for the item I want, the damned thing will probably be permanently out of stock!

Terrific site you have here, by th' way. I've added you to my blogroll.

Anonymous said...

In regards to WalMart store credit cards and Carmen's comment. Recently on CreditBoards.com a person with a very low credit score and a few bad tradelines was approved for the WalMart card. However, the limit was only $75 but she was assured by other posters there that increases can be asked for and received every few months.

Anonymous said...

No black Friday layaways as Nov the 19th is the last day to put anything on layaway and all layaways must be picked up by Dec 8th. Except they neglected to tell the stores this until after most of us had already started Xmas layaways, so we have some due out on Dec 13th. Maybe the next major change will be the name...Target- Mart.

Anonymous said...

I refer to call Walmart "the Beast", as stated in Bible.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to see Layaway go...it's usage was huge at Christmas time as mnay folks used it as "Santa's Closet"...not having to hide merchandise at home...but, like you said, there's a lot of money on the table. Some stores would have a million dollars or more in layaway inventory (trailers in back full of stuff!).

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Beverly said...

Yes - the Walmart in Springdale Arkansas has a dentist. And one of the ones in NW Arkansas (one of the two Fayetteville stores) has a dry cleaners. Or at least they did when I lived there.

Jacqueline Khattar said...
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