MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The holidays are nearing and some stores hope to lessen the financial blow of gift-purchasing by introducing layaway programs.

Toys “R” Us, after thousands of customers took advantage of their layaway program in 2012 with no upfront service fee, this year, will offer the same free layaway program—but with the added convenience of being able to make online payments.

Toys “R” Us joins other big retailers, like K-Mart and Wal-Mart, in implementing layaway programs.

The natures of these layaway programs make way for retailers to get a head start on holiday advertising.

Back in the beginning of September, K-Mart released a holiday ad with the gingerbread man sneaking up on a woman reminding her not to let the holidays do the same. A voice-over said, “Don’t let the holidays sneak up on you. Shop early.”

When the ad was first released, there was some outrage on K-mart’s Facebook page with comments like, “What happened to Halloween and Thanksgiving?”

According to the National Retail Federation, 40-percent of shoppers start buying before Halloween and twenty-percent wait to start at the end of September.

Wal-Mart, as of early September, began their layaway program earlier than years before and for free. According to retail experts the early Christmas campaigns could bring forward the holiday cycle by a few weeks.

Rehana Khan, a Walmart Manager said back in September when the program started, “It’s never too early. At Walmart we give customers as long as we can.”


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