I saw a commercial last night in which Kmart touted its layaway plan for this year’s holiday shopping season. Layaway is not a new concept at Kmart, but the idea of paying in installments for something before you get to own it does seem revolutionary in this age of the credit card.
Thanks to the current economic woes, the pay-to-own model seems to be making a comeback. In fact, several retailers are embracing the concept in a renewed way (see the short list). I think it’s time the Weekndr family did too.
Layaway seems so old fashioned, but that’s only because we’ve been living through an economy that encourages buy-now-pay-later. And why not? Credit card companies saturate us with gift offers and low interest rates. In college, I applied for credit cards mostly as a means to avoid doing laundry: I got a free T-shirt, they got my obligation of debt.
I don’t expect we’ll become Kmart shoppers anytime soon, but it might be time to stop spending money before we have it.
– Mr. Weekndr