New economic reality triggers the return of payment plan of yesteryear.
An old-fashioned way of attracting customers is making a comeback, just in time for the holidays, and some of the biggest retailers around have latched on to the idea.
Walmart is resurrecting layaway again this year, starting earlier and with reduced fees.
Other heavy-hitting retailers like Toys r Us, Sears and Kmart are also using layaway.
"It's an about-face from companies saying layaway's this old thing that nobody wants to do to people saying layaway is a way that we can compete for holiday dollars," says NBC News Digital financial writer Allison Linn.
Obviously, layaway's comeback is geared toward Christmas 2012, and analysts like Linn have an idea what retailers are thinking.
"I've got them in the door in September buying an item at full price that they might be tempted to buy from a competitor on Black Friday for less money," Linn explains.