- Walmart has decided to get rid of the layaway before the 2021 holiday season.
- The company announced that it is using Affirm, a buy now, pay later service that the retailer partnered with in 2019.
- Walmart began phasing out its layaway last year, only allowing it for certain jewelry purchases.
Walmart has decided to abandon its layaway program entirely before the 2021 holiday season, replacing it with a buy now, pay later financing option.
The retailer is now using the Affirm company, which partnered with Walmart in 2019, to replace the layaway. Instead of letting stores hold items from late August to mid-December while customers make payments until full payment, shoppers can now take the item home immediately and pay for it with Affirm.
Unlike layaway, purchases made with Affirm can earn interest over time. Although Affirm does not charge any hidden or late fees for using its services, customers can benefit from an APR rate on purchases of 10-30% depending on their credit and 0% for certain items. promotions on Walmart.com.
Not all Walmart customers may be eligible to use Affirm based on their prequalification status. The service can be used on purchases ranging from $ 144 to $ 2,000 and excludes items such as alcohol, groceries and food, personal care products and pet supplies.
Last year, Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, began phasing out the layaway, offering it only on select jewelry items.
“We’ve learned a lot over the past year as the needs and buying habits of our customers have changed,” a Walmart spokesperson told Insider. “We are convinced that our payment options provide the right solutions for our customers.”
Affirm services work in the alternative to a credit card. Customers will purchase the item immediately and pay for the items over a period of three to 24 months. Customers can select their own payment plan and Affirm will match them with a lender who will provide them with a loan for the financed item.
Walmart buyers can return any purchase made with Affirm for a refund, but the amount they paid in interest will not be refunded. According to Affirm, partial or late payments can impact a consumer’s credit rating or their ability to receive new loans with the business.
Some Walmart customers have expressed concern on social media, worrying about how families might buy gifts for the holiday season if they don’t qualify for Affirm.
—THEE STEP MUVA (@Stepmuvalex) September 25, 2021
“Walmart removed the layaway and replaced it with Affirm, which checks credit… just before Christmas,” one Twitter user wrote. “So many low-income families will not be able to give gifts to their children.”
Some customers seemed not to worry about the change, making jokes that, with no set aside, they had no place to hide their children’s gifts during the holidays.
Walmart has recently undergone several company-wide changes, including increasing its minimum wage, removing its bonus program for hourly employees, and opening Ghost Kitchens in select stores.