WASHINGTON – Layaway used to be a popular way to buy electronics, Christmas presents and gifts. Now, Sears is offering customers the option to put their vacations on layaway.
The Sears Vacations site has recently started offering layaway payment options using a Sears credit card to book cruises, air travel, hotel rooms, resorts, car rentals and other vacation packages.
Customers using the layaway option pay a 20 percent down payment, plus four biweekly payments before the official vacation starts, which might help those who are cash-strapped while planning getaways.
Anne Banas, executive editor of the travel site SmarterTravel cautions consumers that putting vacations on layaway is very risky because of interest rates and the penalties for not paying on time.
She told the Boston Herald she hasn’t seen anything like what Sears is offering.
The move to offer vacation layaways comes after Sears Holdings, the operator of Sears and Kmart, saw a second-quarter loss and its fourth loss in the last five quarters. Revenue fell 1 percent to $10.33 billion in the second quarter.