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Several major retailers have made changes to their layaway programs heading into the holiday shopping season. Here's a rundown:
. Walmart - Reduced fee from $15 to $5. Starting program a month earlier, beginning on Sept. 16 and running through Dec. 14. Once the item is paid for, Walmart will give the consumer a $5 gift card. All items must cost at least $15. Total layaway purchase must be at least $50.
. Toys-R-Us - Layaway program is open now and won't charge a fee on items ordered by Oct. 31. After that, a $5 service fee will apply. Consumers must make a 20 percent down payment and pay 50 percent within 45 days. Item must be paid in full by Dec. 16.
Babies-R-Us has the same layaway policy.
. Kmart and Sears - No service fee on layaway purchases, but a $10 fee will apply if a layaway order is canceled. Requires an initial payment of $15 or 10 percent of the item's purchase price. Repayment period runs from eight to 12 weeks, with biweekly payments required. The Kmart program is running now. Sears is expected to launch its layaway promotion in October.
. T.J. Maxx and Marshall's - Offers a 30-day layaway program. Requires a down payment of 10 percent of the item's cost, or $10, plus a $5 service fee. Charges a $5 cancellation fee.
. Best Buy - Charges a 5 percent service fee. Requires upfront payment equal to 25 percent of the purchase price and subsequent payments every two weeks over an eight to 12 week repayment period. Item must cost at least $250. Not available at Western New York stores.