Save Money. Die Better.
Stores is very rarely the first at anything. The chain has made a living
by watching what others do and adapting formats, products and services
to fit its business. Typically, it does this very well.
latest case in point is the announcement that the company has gone
into the business of selling funeral caskets and urns online. Back
in May 2005 when Costco began selling funeral urns (it had already
been selling caskets), 69 percent of respondents to a RetailWire poll
thought the warehouse club chain was onto something. We agreed and
think it was Mark Twain who said, “I didn’t attend the funeral, but I sent
a nice letter saying I approved of it.”
Dying is an expensive proposition. Although it does weird
us out some, we have to congratulate Costco for addressing the real need to
make burying or cremating a loved one more affordable.
We personally know of at least one woman who donated her
body to a medical school, in part because of what it would save her family
in funeral home and related expenses.
back to today and Wal-Mart, The Associated
Press reported that the retailer has
put 15 caskets and dozens of funeral urns on its website. Prices,
as you would expect, are significantly lower than what retailers
would pay at a funeral home. Federal law requires that funeral
homes accept caskets that are ordered and Wal-Mart only accepts
returns on items that are delivered damaged.
Jariwala, a spokesperson for Wal-Mart Stores, said the company
plans to eventually sell more than 200 products made by Star
Legacy Funeral Network, including pet urns
and memorial jewelry in addition to the items already on walmart.com.
Brian Burkhardt, a funeral director who writes a blog as “Your Funeral
Guy,” told The Associated Press, “You
can get a quality casket for $1,000 rather than pay $2,000, $3,000
or $5,000 in a funeral home. That’s where it helps the consumer.”
Questions: What will Walmart.com’s sale of caskets and urns mean for
the funeral home business? Are consumers ready in large numbers to
start buying funeral products from retailers?
starts selling caskets, urns online – The
wants to bury funeral homes – The Los Angeles Times