With people still reluctant to use credit cards, Sears hopes to increase consumer borrowing by rolling out a new payment option called the Sears Monthly Payment Plan.
The plan will allow people who are leery of unexpected finance charges to make purchases with a fixed, low annual percentage rate, and payments that extend over 48 months.
Sears, which also offers customers layaway options as well as its Sears-branded card, says it wanted to offer credit-shy customers more financing options. "The monthly payment plan is a smart shopping solution that makes it more affordable for customers to pay for large purchases," it says in its release. It claims the new plan now gives it more payment options than any other major appliance company.
The Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based company says it will introduce shoppers to the plan with a national ad campaign, including a TV spot featuring home appliances, as well in-store circulars.
The option is available on purchases of more than $750.
Target is also looking at ways to encourage shoppers to use more financing. Last week, the Minneapolis-based retailer said it would give shoppers using their Target Redcard 5% off nearly all purchases, either in-store or online.
Separately, Sears says it is also urging both its Sears and Kmart Christmas Club customers to activate their cards before Oct. 31, to encourage early shopping. Those who do so will get an additional 3% award -- up to $100. Christmas Club accounts can also be used to pay off layaway balances, as well as online purchases.