"They would come in and pay it down to a penny, and not ask for any recognition," Rasnake said. "It was unbelievable. We haven't had anyone do that this year, but we sure hope it will happen again."
Charleston Department Store on Washington Street used to offer layaway but has discontinued the service.
"We don't do it anymore," said Tom King, store manager. "It takes a lot of employees to try to track it, a lot of people didn't pick it up. We do it at Christmas, but not for back-to-school."
Typically, a store will ask for a small percentage of the total cost of the items as a down payment, and then payments are made over a set period of time (four to eight weeks is average).
In addition to Kmart and Sears, other area stores offering layaway include Marshall's at The Shoppes at Trace Fork and TJ Maxx at Riverwalk Shopping Center.
Gabriel Brothers and Walmart do not offer back-to-school layaway. Walmart runs its program for Christmas items from October through December.
Danny Forinash, public information officer at the West Virginia Tax Department, said there will not be a "tax-free day" this year for back-to-school shopping.
"The state did that from 2002 to 2004, based on federal regulations," Forinash said, and he added that the Tax Department will not offer the savings event this year. He said the Tax Department believes the clothing vouchers are a better way to target families in need.
Reach Sara Busse at email@example.com or 304-348-1249.