NEW YORK —
Some happy customers rushing to make layaway payments are getting some great news when they go to pay off their balances.
Anonymous donors have cleared hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of layaway tabs this year at retailers like Walmart, Toys R Us and Kmart.
Now, scores of holiday shoppers still paying down their pricier purchases can roll out the wrapping paper with even bigger smiles.
Similar donations happen every year, but Walmart said secret givers have been more generous than ever this holiday season.
Three separate donors gave more than $100,000 each to stores in Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio. They spent a combined half million dollars.
Walmart spokesperson Wyatt Jefferies also said an anonymous donor in Tulsa, Oklahoma, indicated plans to give $25,000 to a store and give $100 gift cards to layaway customers.
Toys R Us said mystery donors have given more than $50,000 to seven stores around the country over the past week, settling more than 300 customers’ accounts.
Kmart says it’s also received secretive donations to pay down scores of customers’ layaway contracts. The company also partners with a non-profit called Pay Away the Layaway, which accepts donations to buy toys, clothes, coats and books held on layaway.
Kmart says more than $60,000 has been put toward clearing balances.