There has been an article on Ten Companies Controlling the Funeral Industry. What is interesting in the article are the Newcomers Wall Mart and Amazon .com These companies have only entered the funeral industry in the last several of years. This is an indication of traditional Funeral industry decline and the desire of folks to pay less in funeral cost.
Here is a summary of the funeral business from the Article
The death industry is a tale of two economies. A relatively few large companies, most of them publicly traded, control most of the businesses that sells caskets and granite for memorials. The rest of the death industry is made up of many modest businesses. Most of the 19,500 funeral homes in the country are small operations, often owned by the same families for generations. There are more than 120,000 cemeteries and many of these belong to families, nonprofits, and religious institutions.
Here is al ist of the ten companies in the report.
Service Corporation International (SCI)
Carriage Services Inc (CSV)
1-800 Flowers.com (FLWS)
Rock of Ages Corp(ROAC)
Stone Mor Partners(Ston Mor)
Funeral Industry| Funeral News| Funeral Blog by Your Funeral Guy
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Recession and Funeral Cost are gaining attention -the attention of the Media. Today there was an interesting article in the Huffington Post On this subject.
In the past few recessionary years, most of us have gotten used to closely watching our expenses for everything from child rearing to college to retirement funding. Another important area where comparison shopping makes sense is funerals. Yes, funerals.
While it may not make for typical water cooler chatter, dying in America is expensive and the costs are often borne by grieving family members who are in no mood to haggle. Just as life insurance is meant to benefit family members of the deceased, planning funeral arrangements in advance can save survivors time and a significant amount of money.
There have been other important articles on this subject in the New York Times and MSN Money Central.
The Basic ways to save money on a Funeral are:
1. Shop around(Comparison Shopping)
2. Purchase your Casket on the Internet.
3. Choose cremation.
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Funeral Industry change- needs to happen. And it can Through Deregulation. But It is not Federal deregulation. It is deregulation of the states. Consumer funeral cost will then be reasonable.
The case of Louisiana Catholic monks has brought this issue to the nation’s attention. Catholics Monks in Louisiana are not allowed under the law to make a living selling pine boxes(coffins, Caskets) because in that State Louisiana, Only Funeral Directors can sell caskets in that state . The Monks have shown wisdom in suing the state of Louisiana, in an effort to break the funeral and casket cartel in that state.
In some states it is state law that trumps the “Funeral Rule“. Deregulation of the Funeral is quite simple The Funeral Rule Needs to trump State Law.
In the mid 2oth century this was not possible. 1st There was no funeral rule. Second most funerals did not include interstate commerce. Everything was handled by the local funeral home. Some would argue that is still the case. It is not the what happens. In many funerals today interstate commerce is involved. Deceased Folks(dead bodies) are often transferred from State to State. Cremated Remains are also moved across the country freely.
We can freely use the interstate commerce clause to argue funeral industry state deregulation (or funeral rule preeminence=Federal regulation of the industry),
Funeral Directors and Funeral Homes, crematories etc still need to be licensed to prevent abuse(Psst.. Maybe) But that is where state law should end.The funeral rule needs to be the law of the land in every state. Funeral Director protections need to be eliminated.
Today we can argue for the preeminence of the funeral rule.
Funeral Industry|Funeral News|Funeral Blog by Your Funeral Guy
The sale of traditional funerfal goods and services are in decline says the National Funeral Directors Association
The National Funeral Directors Association is stating that The Lower Cost Funeral and the Lower Cost Casket are king. Consumers are spending less on Funeral Goods and Services, specifically caskets. Cremation is on the rise. Folks are moving away from traditional caskets(Batesville,York Aurora). In fact NOT focusing on lower cost caskets was one reason for the leading casket maker Batesville Casket Company Revenue decline in 2009.
If anything, the fiscal constraints families are experiencing have taught people to be more selective or cautious with the money they have, especially with regard to such things as funeral expenses, said Daniel Biggins, spokesman for the NFDA.
“I think the economy has forced people to be better consumers,” Biggins said.
The Funeral Industry is having a hard time accepting this. Your funeral Guy got the boot at a Funeral Industry Site for saying comments like “ye old traditional funeral world is dissipating” and suggesting low cost funeral homes as a business model.
Your Funeral Guy began advocating the low cost funeral in 2006, published a ground breaking book on the subject in 2008 and became a recognized Authority on Consumer Funeral Cost and Funeral News in 2009.
The recession made 2009 the year of the Lower cost Funeral and Lower Cost Casket
The CEO of Batesville Casket Company parent Hillenbrand Inc(HI) set the stage for funeral revenue decline at Batesville. IN a comment made on an Investor call Kenneth Camp stated.
It is not our intention to be the lowest-price provider out there. Funeral directors make more money selling caskets than they do buying them.
And when we have caskets that families can select from and see high value in, they’re better off financially.”
In 2009 Families were not better off financially with higher price caskets.
As it turns out 2009 was the year of the Lower Cost Funeral and the LOW COST CASKET.
Report after report in 2009 showed cremation was on the rise. Newspapers carried stories about how people generally were purchasing lower cost funeral options.
The leading Casket company was significant Funeral News in 2009.
Funeral Industry|Funeral Blog by Your Funeral Guy.