Use This Depression Era Program To Increase Business Cash Flow

by Doug Smith, President, The Woodhaven Group

Layaway programs are helping both consumers and retailers who are cash strapped.

During the Depression of the 1920s and 1930s, layaway programs were started to help shoppers buy items for Christmas from retailers.  For a small down payment, the retailer would hold the merchandise while the customer made weekly payments.  When the final payment was made the retailer handed over the merchandise to the happy consumer.  

As credit cards became more popular, layaway programs were eliminated.  Today, more and more consumers are either cutting up their credit cards or reducing the amount charged.

Smart retailers and businesses are reinstating layaway programs as a method to generate sales and help the shopper’s cash flow as well as the cash flow of their own business.

It’s amazing the variety of products and services that are using layaway programs.  A few I have seen are for:

  • Furniture
  • All types of big-ticket apparel
  • Jewelry
  • Vacation trips
  • Tickets and lodging to music festivals
  • Toys
  • Televisions
  • Cosmetic surgery of almost any type

In my opinion, one of the leading retailers using layaway most effectively is Sears and their subsidiary, Kmart.  To get ideas how to structure your own layaway program go to Sears layaway site right here.

Is layaway the right program for your company?

I would suggest doing your own research, talk to retailers and businesses who have tried layaway and test it on a few products or services.

You just may find this is one more tactic in your sales and pricing strategy that will help increase your overall cash flow.

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