logo-walmartWal-Mart Stores Inc. will bring forward its holiday layaway program by two weeks, in what has been viewed as a move to get ahead of year-end demand for toys, and to generate sales of upcoming Star Wars toys. As reported by Reuters, Anne Marie Kehoe, the vice president of toys for Wal-Mart, said in a briefing that shoppers can utilize the program starting August 28, two weeks earlier than last year.

As part of a global rollout timed for the upcoming movie, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the retailer will have 500 new Star Wars products in its stores on September 4. Wal-Mart hopes the layaway program will help ease purchases of Star Wars products, which are expected to help the U.S. toy industry grow an estimated 6.2 percent to $19.9 billion this year, according to the NPD Group.