Sears waives layaway fee, joining rivals

Sears waives layaway fee, fueling store wars to lure shoppers during critical holidays

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- Sears Holdings Corp. says it's waiving the fees that shoppers pay to open its interest-free pay-over-time program.

The retailer, which operates stores under the Sears, Roebuck and Co. and Kmart names, said Friday that it's removing its layaway service fee for both its stores and online site through Nov. 17. The company, based in Hoffman Estates, Ill., had charged $5 for an 8-week program and a $10 fee for the 12-week layaway program.

The move comes three days after Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said it was lowering its layaway program fee to $5 from $15.

Toys R Us Inc. announced on Monday it was waiving the upfront service fee for layaway orders created in store from Sept. 4 through Oct. 31. After Oct. 31, a $5 service fee will apply.

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