Once upon a time, when customers didn’t have enough money to make an immediate purchase, they would put it on layaway. Laya-what? you ask facetiously. “Doesn’t that involve some kind of a system where you pay for the merchandise BEFORE you take it home?” notes the Direct Dispatch blog. “We remember this quaint practice from our early days in retail sales … [before] it was a common practice to extend oneself beyond one’s means with credit cards.”
But in a tumultuous world of shaky finances and increasing unemployment rates, the concept has made a 21st-century comeback. According to Direct Dispatch, Kmart is among the companies offering the layaway option to its customers. The retailer outlines details of the eight-week pre-payment plan at its Web site:
Select your items.
Bring them to the layaway counter and make a down payment.
Make your payments every two weeks at your Kmart store.
Take home your items once your payments have been completed.
A holiday promotion from Sears, meanwhile, offers a similar service with the tagline: “Get them what they want today with $15 or 20% down.”
“Wonder what other old-fashioned sales tactics will work in this economy?” asks Direct Dispatch in a question loaded with Marketing Inspiration.
Source: MarketingProfs enewsletter