Sep. 30, 2012 at 12:03 PM ET
Many people used to think of layaway as that relic of the past that your grandmother used during the Great Depression.
But the weak economy and an increasing interest in keeping down credit card debt has pushed the holiday savings plan back into the spotlight.
Retailers including Kmart, Wal-Mart and Toys R Us are offering special deals and discounts aimed at getting people to start using layaway early.
Experts say layaway can be a good way to get customers into stores early, for shoppers it can be cheaper than using a credit card. But others note that those shoppers may be better off just saving money on their own, if they have a savings account, and holding out for late-season discounts.