The U.S. retailer hopes to get a head start on the holiday shopping season with sales driven by ''Star Wars'' toys. Conway Gittens reports.
It's 115 days until Christmas and Wal-Mart is already trying to lure customers into the store. The retail giant announcing Thursday that its 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 Wal-Mart is getting an early jump. Encouraged by last year's strong sales of toys related to Star Wars, Wal-Mart hopes the Force will once again be with them, with the upcoming installment 'Rogue One' hitting theaters in time for the holidays. The layaway plan allows customers to pay for items in installments as low as $10, which went over well last year with Wal-Mart's core lower income customer. Analysts estimated that in poorer areas of the country layaway was responsible for up to 15 percent of Wal-Mart's holiday sales.