Kmart is reminding consumers you can still buy things on layaway.
Hyped in national advertisements for the first time in years, layaway lets shoppers pay for everything from tools to televisions bit by bit before taking the items home.
The practice dates back to the Great Depression but has all but disappeared in recent decades.
A Kmart spokesman says it's an option that suddenly "has a great deal of relevance."
For now layaway sales account for only a declining fraction of overall sales, and retail experts don't think that's going to change. A spokeswoman for the National Retail Federation says consumers would rather make payments on things they already have, instead of paying for items while they sit in the store.
Wal-Mart gave up on layaway sales in 2006.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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