A secret 'Santa' reportedly paid for an entire Vermont Walmart store's layaway items

Jeff Zelevansky / Stringer / Getty Images‘This can’t be, who can afford to pay for (everyone)’s layaway?’ one shopper told a local station.
  • An anonymous man just paid for all of the layaway items at a Vermont Walmart, several local news outlets reported.
  • Shoppers expressed surprise and gratitude upon finding that they didn’t owe anything on their layaway purchases.
  • This isn’t the first time a Walmart location has received such a visit – similar incidents have happened across the country.

A Walmart store in Derby, Vermont, seemingly had an early visit from Santa.

The anonymous benefactor may not have ridden up with eight reindeer and a sleigh, but he did pay off all the layaway items in the store, several local news outlets reported.

Customers purchase items on layaway by handing over an initial deposit to ensure the store holds the product. When the shopper pays the item off in full, they can take it home. The payment method allows customers to obtain a product without putting down a major sum in one sitting.

Walmart shopper Julie Gates told local station WCAX that she encountered the anonymous man in the store.

“This can’t be, who can afford to pay for [everyone’s] layaway?” she said. “And he said ‘Santa Clause can.'”

Customer Tammy Desautels also told WCAX that her items had been paid for.

“It was kind of like surreal when they said no balance due, then it was really a reality,” she said.

“When customers quietly pay off others’ layaway items, we’re reminded how good people can be,” a Walmart spokesperson said in a statement to Business Insider. “We’re honored to be a small part of these random acts of kindness.”

This isn’t the first time that a generous secret Santa has made a trip to Walmart.

One anonymous benefactor struck two Ohio Walmarts in 2015, according to USA Today, paying over $US106,000 to cover layaway goods. The same donor reportedly also paid $US200,000 for layaway items at two Florida stores, too.

Another secret Santa paid for the layaway items that over 200 families had accrued at a Pennsylvania Walmart in 2017, local station WJAC reported. And working through the Salvation Army in 2016, an anonymous donor paid off an entire store’s layaway debt, according to AJC.com.

Last year, a West Virginia church ensured that Christmas would come early for some local shoppers, by paying off all layaway bills at a Ohio County Walmart, the Journal-News reported.

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