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Wal-Mart Resumes Layaway on Tech, Toys

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT), the world’s largest retailer, plans to resume layaway on electronics and toys this holiday season as customers struggle to make purchases.

The program will be available at all stores nationwide starting Oct. 17 and running through Dec. 16, the Bentonville, Arkansas-based company said today in a statement. Toys and electronics with a retail price of $15 or more will be eligible.

Wal-Mart, which canceled layaway for everything except jewelry in 2006, is trying to reverse declining sales at U.S. supercenters and discount stores, which excluding fuel slipped 0.9 percent in the second quarter. Wal-Mart shoppers’ biggest concern is unemployment, Chief Financial Officer Charles Holley said on a conference call last month.

“We’re always looking for ways to ease budget strain for our customers, and we know this holiday season in particular brings with it additional financial pressure,” Duncan Mac Naughton, Wal-Mart’s chief merchandising officer, said in the statement.

Wal-Mart fell 21 cents to $52.21 at 4 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The shares have slipped 3.2 percent this year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Chris Burritt in New York at cburritt@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Robin Ajello at rajello@bloomberg.net

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