Our great shopping icon
‘Walmart’ always there to offer us “choice” and “value” has rocked the
media and funeral world this week by announcing that they are to start
Is this a good move?
I am sure many funeral homes do not think so, but this nationalized news
has brought one key message to the consuming public……..caskets ARE retail
merchandise and can be bought elsewhere than a funeral home.
The funeral industry has
long been content to allure its’ customers to believe a casket must be
purchased from a funeral home as the ‘Point of Purchase’, although federal
legislation by the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) governs that a funeral
home MUST accept funeral merchandise purchased elsewhere. Your
funeral director will not happily volunteer this information, as the mark-up
and profit they make from their casket sales is nearly always the main
profit from a funeral.
When I first heard the news
that Walmart was selling caskets I had a mental picture of taking Grannie
down the store to pick out her desired box. Now you can imagine what
sort of mental picture that snowballed from there. Which aisle will
Caskets be featured in….maybe between sporting goods and outdoor living?
Needless to say I was relieved to realize that Walmart’s catalogue of caskets
is only available to order online. So next time you are strolling
down the aisles at Walmart with little Johnny you are not likely to be
confronted with an array of steel and wooden caskets, and then wonder where
your five year old has disappeared to!! I can often remember my kids
disappearing in the store, only to be found under some rack of clothing.
So would you buy a casket
from Walmart? Are they trying to offer the consumer choice and value?
Or are they just attempting to join a market with high value products and
take a share of the profit? Well I have checked out their catalogue
and their “choice” is limited…….but there again how many choices do we
really need? And in terms of value they match many of the Casket
Retailers you can buy a casket from……only many of these retailers are specialists
in their industry. Prices range from a "Mom" or "Dad Remembered"
steel coffin for $895, to a bronze model at $2,899.
At least Walmart have done
us all a public service by bringing attention to the casket sales business!
Although Sam Walton must be turning in his grave wondering just what products
are going to be on the shelves of his stores next!!!
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