Stores kick off holiday shopping season with layaway campaigns

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GREENSBORO, N.C. — Halloween candy and costumes may be on the shelves, but layaway ads promoting Christmas are already popping up on TV and online.

Kmart aired its free layaway ad this week, reminding shoppers to start hitting the stores early before the holiday rush. The program allows shoppers to choose an eight or twelve week payment plan.

Walmart will start its free lay away program Friday.

Financial advisor Sherry McKinney of Stearns Financial Services Group said it’s never too early to save or create a Christmas fund for holiday shopping.

“Take that budget and then allocate it across all the people you want to gift to,” McKinney said. “That way you can go shop with the actual amount in mind and look for gift that meets that target price.”

McKinney said those who spend with cash instead of a credit card spend 30 percent less.

The average family spends approximately $2,500 on Christmas gifts each year.

In 2012, Americans spent $52 billion dollars during the holiday season between November 1 and December 16.

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