(RetailWire – November 13, 2013) Like its sister company, Sears, Kmart has achieved a degree of success with its layaway plan by catering to consumers on the low-end of the economic ladder. Now, Kmart is following the lead of its older sibling by catering to cash- and credit-strapped consumers with the launch of a lease-to-own program.
Last November, Sears announced it was rolling out a lease-to-own program in partnership with WhyNotLeaseIt, a company that also works with Ashley Furniture, Discount Mattress and Jennifer Convertibles, to all its stores.
“Kmart’s lease-to-own program will help ease some of the financial barriers our members and customers will face this holiday season,” said Jai Holtz, vice president, financial services, Sears Holdings, in a statement. “For members and customers who have an immediate need, lease-to-own gives a full house assortment of products and a way to pay.”
As Sears found out, offering such a program brings on critics who argue that the markups on products are onerous. Bloomberg News reported that a $300 television would wind up costing a consumer $415 in the end.
“I’m not here to convince you lease-to-own is not more expensive than a credit program,” Mr. Holtz told Bloomberg. “Our total cost of ownership, for a customer who otherwise cannot get credit, is much lower than the others in the industry offering these types of products. This is really coming from consumer demand.”
Kmart’s lease-to-own program will be available on items costing $150 or more beginning on Nov. 22 in stores across the U.S.
TEMPOE, formerly Why Not Lease It, is the leading provider of no credit required shopping. TEMPOE provides several flexible payment options with the opportunity for quick and economical ownership for consumers. TEMPOE was founded in 2009 in Manchester, New Hampshire, and serves the furniture, home electronics, appliance, jewelry and automotive industries. For more info, visit tempoe.com.
Terry Casazza | tcasazza@TEMPOE.com | 603-637-2987