We all know there is no more exciting shopping time than the holidays, but it is also the most expensive. According to the National Retail Federation, the average person in the United States spends around $ 1,000 during the holiday season, and most of us are looking for ways to cut those costs. Walmart, which is known for its low prices as is, has a long history of offering sales, programs, and policies that help customers get their money’s worth, especially during the holidays.
Over the past 18 months, the company has made some changes to accommodate new shoppers’ needs, from delivery programs to subscription services, and Walmart’s latest move has not been so well received by its customers. loyal clients. Read on to find out what Walmart is getting rid of that is set to change holiday shopping forever.
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Walmart officially ditched its traditional layaway service ahead of the 2021 holiday shopping season, replacing it with a new Buy It Now option through Affirm. The retailer is promoting this finance service as an “alternative to layaway”, so customers can pay over time and set whatever amount they want. According to Walmart, approved customers can fund their order over a period of three to 24 months, depending on the cost of the items. Only certain types of items are eligible, and they must range from $ 144 to $ 2,000 including tax.
“This past holiday season, we removed seasonal layaways from most of our stores with the exception of certain jewelry items in certain stores, and based on what we have learned, we are confident that our payment options provide the right solutions for our customers, ”Walmart said. in a report.
Unlike Walmart’s previous layaway service, Affirm includes a finance charge, which can be an Annual Percentage Rate (APR) of between 10% and 30%, based on credit, making it a difficult option for many people who have no credit or who have bad credit. Others may also be ineligible if their bank is not connected to Affirm.
Walmart’s decision to ditch the layaway and replace it with Affirm’s payment plan has not been welcomed by all of its customers. “Tit’s a hard blow for working poorone reporter tweeted, garnering over 200 likes.Set apart is the way we get things when we don’t have credit. This is how parents buy clothes and gifts for their children or how people buy expensive items. If we had credit we wouldn’t need set apart. Walmart just destroyed the dreams of so many families. “
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Layaway had become a popular option for many families during the holiday season, helping people afford gifts, decorations and other holiday essentials during an expensive time of year. Now some customers are accusing Walmart of spoiling the holidays by getting rid of traditional service. “, kill christmas for SO MANY families who were dependent on the Christmas layaway who are not eligible for Affirm, “tweeted one user directly to Walmart’s official Twitter account.
Another spoke directly of his long experience with the layaway option, a payment option that dates back to the 1920s. “My parents must have used set apart a few times over the years when I was young. Sometimes we maybe not had Christmas presents under the tree without this free service, ”said the customer.
At one point, Walmart offered year-round layaway services. But in 2006, the retailer decided to scrap the program altogether, citing “declining usage and rising costs.” Walmart then chose to bring the layaway back in 2011 for the holiday season, according to The New York Times, and customers have relied on the service for their vacation shopping ever since.
“Our client said if he had two extra paycheck cycles it would really help him.” Duncan Mac Naughton, the former director of merchandising and marketing for Walmart US, told the outlet at the time. “It just tells us that the customer is still struggling, as they share their concerns with us about energy prices, housing prices, job security, that unemployment rate of 9, 2% tells us this is a fragile economy and the customer needs our help. ” By comparison, the unemployment rate is now 5.2%, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, but of course, it’s been a tough financial time for many.
“When our 6 kids were little we didn’t have a lot of money and it was hard to save, I would make a Walmart set apart every year for Christmas because it was easier to make payments than to save. Now Walmart uses a lender who will charge up to 30 !!% interest. Shame on them “, another customer wrote on twitter.
Better life contacted Walmart for a response to the customer’s reaction, but did not immediately hear back.
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