Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N) has lined up $400 million in U.S. layaway sales in less than a month, half of the amount shoppers put on hold for all of the 2011 holiday season, as the world’s largest retailer makes a concerted push to entice shoppers before the typical start of the holiday season.
Shares of Wal-Mart jumped to an all-time high of $76.38 early on Wednesday and were up 2.7 percent at $76.14 in midmorning as the company held its annual meeting with analysts and investors, which was also broadcast over the Internet.
Walmart U.S. is preparing for a strong holiday season, ordering twice as many tablets and Apple Inc (AAPL.O) iPads as last year, said Duncan Mac Naughton, the chief merchandising and marketing officer at Walmart U.S.
The company has seen roughly $400 million in layaway orders already, after starting the process in mid-September, a month earlier than it did when it brought the service back in 2011. With layaway, shoppers buying certain items can put them on hold and pay for them over time.