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Driving Retail Sales: Layaway Plans October 23, 2008

Posted by David Dirks in Building Foot Traffic, Recession: How to Beat It!, Retailer Store Strategies, Sales Strategy/Tactics, Sales Tactics.
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It seems like a hundred years ago but there was a time when credit cards were not the ‘cash’ of the day.  When your or my mother wanted to buy something that was an larger purchase than usual, they did it on the layaway plan.  Layaway?  I’m sure if you ask some high school or college students what a layaway plan is you’d get some blank stares.  Better yet, try finding a retailer who bothers with offering a layaway plan.  Therein lies your opportunity.

In the economic climate we’re in now, people are rethinking how they make purchases.  You can help by offering a layaway plan (assuming you don’t already have one!) to your customers.  You simply allow them to make an initial deposit on the total purchase and then weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly ‘payments’ in cash until the merchandise is paid.  No interest and you can determine the standard amount that is needed to start the plan…say 20% of the total purchase price.  Then you can determine just how long you’ll stretch the payment.  Maybe you stretch it from as little as 3 months to 6 months and let your customer choose which payment plan they want. Once the plan is paid in full, they get the merchandise.

The layaway plan is great for larger purchases, especially those made before the holidays kick in.  Considering how few retailers actually offer layaway plans, this is an opportunity to promote and give customers and prospects a chance to make purchases that won’t put them on the plastic.

This is a great way to help you sell in a season were people are wondering how they can afford to buy.  It’s also a great way to differentiate yourself from your competition who doesn’t want the ‘bother’ of offering a layaway plan.



1. Sales Meeting - October 24, 2008

Too right. I just noticed a department store in our local area advertising a lay away plan and had thought they were making a smart move to bring that back.

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