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Layaway discounts unlikely to increase use of service

A recent survey by BIGinsight revealed that the decision by several major retailers, including Walmart, Kmart and Toys R Us, to lower layaway fees has not led to a rise in layaway purchasing.

Only 12.3 percent of holiday shoppers said that they use or plan to use layaway when purchasing gifts, a slight decrease from 12.7 percent one year ago, Forbes reports.

While layaway programs appear to be falling by the wayside, some shoppers with certain characteristics still tend to use the program.

Layaway shoppers are almost 75 percent more likely to have children in their households and are, on average, six years younger than the typical shopper. Additionally, layaway shoppers plan to spend more this holiday season despite earning about $49,000 less per year than the average shopper, according to Forbes.

While consumers indicated that they were confident in the economic outlook, layaway shoppers were more confident than the average holiday shopper, though they did express concerns related to layoffs and unemployment.

Compared to the average holiday shopper, layaway shoppers are also more likely to pay down debt and decrease overall spending. Layaway shoppers also prefer debit cards and cash to credit cards, Forbes reports.

Additionally, almost 70 percent of layaway shoppers had already begun their holiday shopping, as opposed to only 52.8 percent of holiday shoppers overall. More than 56 percent of layaway shoppers plan to shop on Black Friday as opposed to 31.5 percent of typical holiday shoppers.

Layaway shoppers are also more likely to use social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, retailer apps and coupon websites to find the best deals. While layaway shoppers are more likely to choose familiar fashion labels and the newest styles, they are more likely to put electronics and toys on layaway, according to Forbes.

Retailer layaway discounts may not lead to an increase in the use of the service, but layaway shoppers are more likely to choose retailers that offer discounted layaway. More than 65 percent of layaway shoppers plan to use Walmart’s layaway program, while 42.2 percent indicated that they would use Kmart’s layaway program.

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