9 Stories

'Layaway Angel' Pays Off $106K at 2 Ohio Walmarts

'It's such a blessing to know there are still people out there [who] care'

(Newser) - There's a secret Santa in northeast Ohio who likes to celebrate the season every year in a special way. This year, he decided to spend it paying for other people's purchases, plying his philanthropy at two different Walmarts by contributing more than $106,000 to pay for the... More »

Woman Pays $20K in Others' Layaway Costs at Toys 'R' Us

Guy paid $1.2K in fellow customers' bills last week

(Newser) - A little heartwarming holiday news: Shoppers who couldn't pay for items on the spot at a Massachusetts Toys 'R' Us no longer have to worry about the costs. That's thanks to an anonymous older woman who paid off every single account at the store—all 150 of... More »

'Layaway Santa' Pays Off $20K in Walmart Gifts

Greg Parady paid down 76 accounts

(Newser) - When Greg Parady went into his local Walmart last Saturday, he was just planning to pick up some bikes for a Toys for Tots drive. Instead, he ended up making Christmas come early for nearly 80 strangers by acting as a "layaway Santa." After hearing a shopper saying... More »

'Layaway Santas' Pay for Strangers' Holiday Gifts

Trend is on the rise

(Newser) - "Layaway Santas" started popping up around the country in 2011, and the uplifting trend appears to be on the rise this season, NBC News reports. The way it works: "Secret Santas" visit a store that offers layaway and pay down strangers' accounts. (At many stores, the final payments... More »

Holiday Toys Going Fast in Layaway Programs

Big chains ramp up programs, see early surge in shopping

(Newser) - Brace yourself, parents. Some of this year's hottest Christmas toys might be in short supply come December thanks to an early surge in layaway programs, reports the Wall Street Journal . Most of the big players, including Toys 'R' Us, Walmart, and Sears, have dropped or reduced layaway fees,... More »

Secret Santas Wipe Away Strangers' Layaway Debts

Anonymous donors clearing accounts at Kmarts, Walmarts

(Newser) - A nice fad this holiday season: Secret Santas are going around to Kmarts and Walmarts and paying off the layaway accounts of random strangers. It's happening all over, including stores in Nebraska, Michigan, Iowa, Indiana, South Carolina, and Montana. The AP , NPR and Time round up examples of the... More »

Walmart's Layaway Plan Preys on the Desperate

Consumers are reeling from the loss of easy credit

(Newser) - Good news everybody: Layaway is back! Walmart recently announced that it was bringing back its program, allowing customers to hold items for two months for a mere $5 fee. That may sound like a swell deal for Americans who can’t get credit, writes Louis Hyman in the New York ... More »

As Economy Tanks, Will Plastic Fade?

Debit, layaways tempt as consumers watch wallets

(Newser) - Will today’s wallet-watching leave a permanent dent in America’s beloved plastic? Likely to write off $45 billion this year, with billions more at stake, credit-card lenders are tightening rules and raising fees, the New York Times reports. “People are going to have to live within their means,... More »

Cash-Strapped Shoppers Remember Layaway

No-interest credit appeals to consumers

(Newser) - With consumers strapped and credit short, retailers are reviving an older kind of financing: layaway. Although the arrangement was considered obsolete when Wal-Mart closed its layaway department in 2006, retailers such as TJ Maxx, Goody’s, Marshalls and the Burlington Coat Factory have moved to offer the service, especially as... More »

9 Stories