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Early Layaway, Gift List Launch Has Wal-Mart Defining Holiday 2012

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. has officially driven the holiday shopping season into summer. The company has announced that it is opening up its Christmas layaway program on September 16.

The retailer said it made the move expanding the program, which continues through December 14, to give families an extra month to stretch their paychecks for the holiday season, but the initiative also furthers a Walmart strategic goal of being the retailer of first consideration for year-end gift giving.

Walmart also has expanded layaway features by:

  • Adding to the list of eligible categories, which now includes small home appliances, select sporting goods such as basketball goals, trampolines and large exercise equipment and a variety of electronics, toys and jewelry.
  • Extending layaway access by two days for shoppers who like their local Walmart store on Facebook. 
  • Offering a full refund of the layaway open fee given on a Walmart gift card for customers who make their final payment.

“Last year, millions of Americans relied on layaway at Walmart to provide a great Christmas for their families. Because of their feedback, we’re offering the service again this year and making it better than ever,” said Duncan Mac Naughton, chief merchandising and marketing officer, Walmart U.S.

In another move to set it as the definer of the holiday season, Wal-Mart established a list of must-have gifts consisting of:

  • Apple iPad
  • FURBY by Hasbro
  • LEGO City The Mine
  • Vizio Smart, 3D HDTVs
  • Monster High High School
  • HP Ultrabook Laptop PCs