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That layaway lifestyle

November 4, 2012 - Wes Burns
The Christmas commercial deluge is in full effect now, with big box stores jamming the airwaves with door-buster deals, Santa themed candies and a variety of non-specific holiday whatnot.

Well, not on network TV, anyway. All that ad time is still being used to remind me why voting for any particular candidate will mean the end of American civilization.

The commercial I find the most intriguing has to be from the good people at Wal-Mart (slogan: We're open … where else are you going to go?). Apparently this year marks the triumphant return of the “layaway” program.

For those unfamiliar “layaway” is where you put an item in the store aside and slowly pay for it with little or no interest for a couple months, then pick it up after it is totally paid off.

Not since the annual return of the McRib has a corporate promotion caused such elation. My question is: Why did it leave in the first place?

I remember using layaway as a kid. To give you an idea of when that was I distinctly remember putting a Sega Genesis on layaway.

Altered Beast is still a good game! I don't care what anyone says!

Why did they ever get rid of layaway? According to a Wal-Mart spokesperson (my cashier, attempting to get me out of the store) said that too many people were putting items on layaway, making a couple payments, then never picking up the item.

How, exactly, is that a bad thing?

They made a couple payments, so there's money in your, or more accurately your faceless megacorporation's, pocket. AND they never picked the item up so you can just put it back on the shelves, ready to be bought at full price by another person.

That's win-win.

So, since Wal-Mart is in obvious need of my business acumen, I will offer this: keep the layaway going all year round. People like the service and it will make you money.

And with that, I'm heading to Wal-Mart … I think I finally have enough to get my Genesis out of layaway.



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