Wal-Mart Launches Its Celebrity Home Collection, Will End Layaway

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. of Bentonville on Thursday announced the launch of its first celebrity home collection, Csquared, designed by Colin Cowie.

Wal-Mart's first celebrity home line and Cowie's debut collection offers holiday home decorating and entertaining products, including barware accessories, photo frames, floral decor, compilation music CDs and more, with prices ranging from $2.94 for a champagne flute to $39.97 for a floral topiary.

The collection will be available at 1,100 Wal-Mart stores beginning in October. Partial collections will be in 2,200 stores and on the retailer's Web site. The collection is for sale through the end of December.

The collection is example of another way Wal-Mart is seeking to improve its image and compete with rivals such as Target, which has featured an array of clothing and home collections designed by Isaac Mizrahi, Todd Oldham and Michael Graves.

Also this week, Wal-Mart announced that it will end its layaway program, citing falling demand and rising costs. The program dates back to the retail chain's earliest days. The program held items for customers for a period of time while customers paid off those items.

Wal-Mart said customers will have until Nov. 19 to place items on layaway. Items must be picked up by Dec. 8.