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“What Goes Around Comes Around”

As a young boy in my family business, Dolgin’s in Kansas City, my Father gave me three jobs: cleaning the silver hollowware display, displaying fountain pens, and straightening out the LAYAWAYS.   Oh … and in between those, I sold my first diamond ring!

I remember asking him, while I was straightening the toy layaways and then the jewelry layaways on a Saturday in September, what a layaway was and why he liked them.  He told me that it was a method to sell merchandise early in the season and get the customer committed to buying the item from us.  He said it gave him a good indication of how strong the Christmas business would be.  He also explained that the storage and handling of layaways was difficult and took a lot of time.

The selling concept of using LAYAWAYS disappeared almost altogether with the introduction of the credit cards in the late 60’s and 70’s. Wal-Mart finally discontinued them altogether five years ago. Neither merchants nor consumers have used the term LAYAWAY for many years.

Kmart introduced layaways during the fourth quarter of 2010 and today, Wal-Mart has re-introduced the option. This selling strategy may help them with their target audience and this slow economy. “What goes around comes around”!