Although pumpkins, spider webs, ghosts, candy, apples, and more fall essentials are taking over the shelves at America's largest retail chain, this time of the year is usually when people start thinking about holiday shopping. This year will be a little different for some people because Walmart is not offering one of its shopping services anymore—the option to use layaway—and now customers will have to pay more to buy now and pay later.
A report from Raleigh, N.C. news station WRAL says that customer service confirmed the discontinuation, saying that it won't be available in stores or online anymore. Usually the layaway program begins in late August and lasts until mid-December. It would only require a small deposit to hold the items. Then a regular payment would be made until they are paid off in full when they could be picked up at the store.
But according to Scott Pope, the senior director of global communications at Walmart, shopping habits have changed so much that last holiday season layaway was removed from most stores, with the exception of some jewelry items at select locations.
"We've learned a lot in the past year as our customers' needs and shopping habits have changed," he says in an email to Eat This, Not That!. "…based on what we learned, we are confident that our payment options provide the right solutions for our customers."
The chain is now using Affirm, a finance payment option that allows you to pay over time at a pace of your choosing, but ranging from three to 24 months. However, the rate is 10% to 30% APR based on credit and is subject to an eligibility check. Walmart gives the example of a $150 purchase, which would be $13.92 for 12 months with a 20.00% APR. This type of buy now, pay later option is popular and popping up for many websites, The Wall Street Journal says in a recent podcast episode.
Customers looking for another option can also open a Capital One Walmart Rewards Card, which offers 5% cashback online and 2% cashback in stores, Pope notes.
For more info about what it's like shopping at Walmart right now, check out:
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