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Christmas could come early for layaway shoppers

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GREENSBORO, NC -- Local retailers are already getting into the holiday spirit by offering shoppers a way to save and start their shopping earlier this year.

Holiday layaway shopping has already begun at Toys R Us stores across the nation, and it will begin September 16th for Walmart Shoppers. The option allows shoppers to pay for big-ticket items over the course of three months instead of all at once.

Yong Raynor, who manages the High Point Road Toys R Us in Greensboro, said it's easier to shop for presents in September than October and November.

"Our guests seem to love it. It's easier for them to budget their holiday funds and take time to pay," Raynor said.

With holiday layaway beginning now is about a month earlier than Toys R Us and Walmart began their program last year. Walmart is also expanding the number of layaway-eligible items.

In 2011, only toys were on the Walmart layaway list. This year the list includes electronics, sporting goods, and small appliances as well.

"It's what our customer wants and we try to do what's going to help a customer live better and save money," said Walmart Store Manager Cindy Landwehrmann.

The holiday layaway at Toys R Us is free until October 31. After that it will cost $5. Walmart originally planned to charge $15 for layaway but rolled the cost back to $5 based on customer demand.