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Wal-Mart Brings Back Layaway in Bid to Boost Holiday Sale

Aug. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Wal-Mart Stores Inc. plans to bring back an expanded layaway program for the holiday season to help customers save for gifts and boost sales.

The program, which this year includes small home appliances and select sporting goods as well as toys and electronics, will run nationwide from Sept. 16 through Dec. 14, the world’s largest retailer said today in statement. Last year’s program started on Oct. 17.

Wal-Mart, which canceled layaway for everything except jewelry in 2006, resumed the plan in 2011 to address declining sales at U.S. supercenters and discount stores. The company is trying to boost holiday sales as it fends off increasing growth from online retailers such as Amazon.com Inc.

Consumers can buy an item with as little as $10, or 10 percent of the price as a downpayment and pay in installments, the Bentonville, Arkansas-based retailer said.

“Last year, millions of Americans relied on layaway at Wal-Mart 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,” Duncan Mac Naughton, Wal-Mart’s chief merchandising and marketing officer, said in the statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: David Welch in Detroit at dwelch12@bloomberg.net

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

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