Business

Game eases lay-by terms to encourage consumer spending

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Retailer Game says it has seen a significant increase in lay-by sales since it eased the rules around them in October, with more consumers buying big-ticket appliances and electronic goods.

Its revised lay-by rules mean customers do not have to pay a deposit to secure an item on lay-by and have six months to settle their payments.

Customers were previously required to pay a 20% deposit and conclude their purchase within three months.

The Massmart-owned retailer says since updating its terms, consumers have been buying appliances such as refrigerators, top loader washing machines and chest freezers as well as electronics like laptops and and ultra-high-definition smart TVs.

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Game says easing its lay-by terms has helped take some financial pressure off consumers who this year have had to work around a stubbornly rising cost of living, fast eating away at disposable income.

“With the consumer budget being under severe strain, our new lay-by terms offer them an easy and affordable way to buy these kind of household necessities – and pay them off in a way that suits their budget specifically,” says Game vice president of marketing Katherine Madley in a statement.

“As we move toward the festive season, many consumers will use their year-end bonuses to pay off their items so they can take them home.”

Rising popularity

Buy now, pay later (BNPL) payment options have become popular among consumers juggling a rising cost of living and dwindling disposable income.

Read: Interest rates are up 325bps this year; how this affects your debt

Edgars – which recently returned to profit – told Moneyweb in November that its decision to bring BNPL products into its stores has been successful for the company.

BNPL platform Payflex says its customer base has more than doubled to over 450 000 customers since 2021, reportedly growing by 10% to 15% every month.

Payflex CEO Paul Behrmann tells Moneyweb its customers spent three times more over Black Friday this year than in 2021.

“A survey of 1 600 Payflex customers conducted ahead of Black Friday in November, revealed that just over 90% of [BNPL customers] planned to spend more online this festive season than last year, while 78% had planned to shop on Black Friday ahead of the festive season.”

Behrmann says BNPL platforms help cash-strapped consumers purchase items without the burden of taking on interest-accruing debt.

“South Africans are becoming more comfortable with using BNPL as a budget tool, shunning expensive credit to pay for purchases in interest-free instalments instead.”

Payflex customers can split their payments into four equal amounts over a period of six weeks.

The platform hosts over 2 000 merchants, including, Edgars, Cotton On, Takealot, Leroy Merlin, Forever New and iStore, with fashion, electronics and children’s products being the most popular items.

Listen to Suren Naidoo’s interview with Retailability Group CEO Norman Drieselmann (or read the transcript here):

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