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Is Target missing the layaway boat?

Layaway program have become all the rage the past few years as retailers seeks to offer shoppers every conceivable convenience to capture every available sales dollar.

Not Target. The retailer continues to shun layaway even though plenty of price sensitive consumers shop its stores and would likely be receptive to some type of merchandise prepayment program. At least that’s what recent surveys suggest. A website called couponcabin.com commissioned a survey by Harris Interactive and found that 34% of the 2,339 people surveyed were at least somewhat likely to purchase items on layaway this holiday season. The survey found 9% are very likely to use layaway and 29% said maybe.

Shoppers stated intentions tend to differ materially from their actions so all of the various surveys that come out this time of year need to be viewed with skepticism. That said, Target could be leaving money on the table by not offering some type of program as doing so would at least put the company on equal footing with discount store rivals.

When asked what they believe are the benefits to using a layaway program for holiday shopping, 54% said layaway helps them to buy larger items that they couldn't afford to buy all at once and nearly as many said it helps with budgeting.

Also of note was the 46% of people who said layaway programs help them avoid using credit while 33% said the appeal of layaway is that it doesn’t require them to have good credit.

"Layaway can be a smart option for holiday shoppers on a budget, as it forces shoppers to be disciplined about saving and reduces impulse purchases," said Jackie Warrick, president and CEO at CouponCabin.com.