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July 11th, 2009

Christmas In July!



The Sears Holdings Corporation has decided that it’s never too early to shop for Christmas gifts. The company, which owns Sears and Kmart, has launched their “Christmas Lane” website as an early attempt to promote their layaway program:

“This is the first year we’ve done the Christmas Lane event,” said [Sears spokeswoman Natalie] Norris-Howser. “We’re allowing customers to put these items on layaway and pay over time.”

Kmart got a boost in sales during the holiday season last year when it promoted a long-forgotten layaway program as an alternative to credit cards. Sears followed suit in November. Under a layaway program, shoppers pay for merchandise in installments and take the goods home after they are paid in full.

By starting their Christmas promotion in July, Sears and Kmart are striving to give their customers as much time as possible to begin making layaway payments. Retailers tend to generate 20-30% of their yearly income during the winter holidays.

The website, which offers free shipping on Christmas Lane purchases of over $75, has a wide array of products. There is everything from wrapping paper to an XBOX 360.

Will you take advantage of layaway this year?

(hat tip: The Consumerist)

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Tim Manni is the Managing Editor of HSH.com and the author of their daily blog, which concentrates on the latest developments in the mortgage and housing markets.

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