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Walmart lowers holiday layaway fee

NEW YORK — Walmart Stores Inc. is lowering its fee that shoppers pay for its interest-free layaway program for the winter holidays.

The fee to open a layaway account will now be $5 instead of $15, the world’s largest retailer said Tuesday.

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The disclosure comes a day after Toys “R” Us said it was waiving the upfront service fee for layaway orders created in stores from Sept. 4 through Oct. 31. After Oct 31, a $5 service fee will apply. Also, there will be no minimum purchase price. Customers have until Dec. 16 to pick up their orders.

Walmart says the move wasn’t in response to the Toys “R” Us announcement, but rather in reaction to customer feedback on its Facebook page since it revealed plans last month to bring back its layaway program for the Christmas season. The new program, which starts Sept. 16 and runs through Dec. 14, will last a month longer than last year’s and will include more items than those featured last year.

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