About 40% of Americans start their holiday shopping before Halloween, according to NRF, and retailers including Wal-Mart, Toys R Us, TJ Maxx, Best Buy and Marshall's are gearing up to win seasonal shoppers with layaway programs set to launch in the coming weeks. "Layaway is no longer just for low-income consumers. What we've seen is for families looking to stay on a budget and people in general trying to stay away from credit, is layaway is a great option for them," said Kathy Grannis, NRF's senior director of media relations.

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