Raleigh County residents react to holiday shopping changes at Walmart

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BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — Walmart is changing the way customers shop for the holidays this year, canceling their layaway program.

Layaway allowed customers to place a deposit for an item and purchase it in full at a later date when they are financially able. One Raleigh County resident said she relies on layaway to buy Christmas gifts for her family.

“I’m kind of upset,” Leah Williams said. “I’m really actually upset because that is actually very helpful to others, to us as the consumers, because that way you can get your stuff all paid for and you won’t have to worry about it.”

Walmart is switching to a partnership with a buy-now, pay-later company called Affirm. Affirm requires pre-qualification with no cost to apply for a real-time credit decision.

Walmart told 59 News: “We’ve learned a lot in the past year as our customers’ needs and shopping habits have changed. Last Holiday season, we removed seasonal layaway from most of our stores with the exception of select jewelry items at select stores and based on what we learned, we are confident that our payment options provide the right solutions for our customers.”

Walmart customers are eligible to use Affirm for transaction sizes between $144-2000 with payment plans up to 24 months.

Some customers are still concerned going into the holiday season.

“Well, there’s a lot of kids that are just not going to get because it does go by your credit rating,” Toni Miller said.

“You need to bring back layaway,” Williams said. “Millions of your customers use this every year, I used to work for them, customers use that every year.”

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