Kmart has seen its layaway business more than double each year for the past three years as budget-conscious consumers seek to avoid accruing more credit-card debt, and a growing number of other chains are offering layaway as a payment option, including Wal-Mart, which revived its layaway program for the holidays. "Layaway draws people into the store who may not have thought to shop there," said NRF's Kathy Grannis.

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