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>> It's 115 days until Christmas, and Walmart is already to lure customers into the store. The retail giant announcing Thursday that it's holiday layaway program will begin two weeks early this year, which means consumers can start paying down on holiday gifts starting Friday. This is the second year in a row Walmart is getting an early jump, encouraged by last year's strong sales of toys related to Star Wars.
Walmart hopes the force will once again be with them with the upcoming installment Rogue One hitting theaters in time for the holidays. Last year, consumers snapped up $700 million worth of Star War products, making the franchise more valuable than Jurassic World, Minions, and Avengers combined. The layaway plan allows customers to pay for items in installments as low as $10, which went over well last year with Walmart's core lower income customers.
Analysts estimated that in poorer parts of the country, layaway was responsible for up to 15% of Walmart's holiday sales.