Wal-Mart: Caskets Shipped in 48 hours?
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Wal-Mart: Will they start doing funerals?
I guess nothing anyone does these days should be shocking. Not even a successful business like Wal-Mart. In a move that I could only assume is to keep up with its rival, Costco, Wal-Mart has placed caskets and urns on its long list of items it sells online. Ok people, this is not some Halloween hoax.
The retail giant has added a "funeral" tab to its Wal-Mart.com website. They placed about 12 caskets and 10 urns on their site. The prices are from $1000 - $5000, and they offer delivery in 48 hours. The one catch is that you can only return it if it was damaged during shipping. So unless you are leaving this earth pretty soon, I hope you have room in your garage or shed to store your casket. Although law requires funeral homes to accept caskets from "third" parties, they do not have to offer prolonged storage space. Just imagine, walking into someone's garage to get some beer out of the "other" fridge, and there is this casket. I don't care if you know its there, that still has to be a spooky feeling.
Star Legacy Funeral Network, Inc., is the company that provides the caskets. They also offer the same caskets on their website. The prices are about the same, but, they offer more caskets. Legacy's Ceo, Rick Obadiah said, " The response in the first week has been better than we or Wal-Mart expected." Neither Wal-mart or Legacy have released the details of those statistics. One is left to wonder, " Are people actually purchasing these caskets, or just curious like the rest of us?" For the record, there are other online retailers that offer caskets on their website.
Sources say that this move by Wal-Mart is a serious one, and not just a test as some have suggested. Obadiah says that they will add another 200 products to walmart.com, including, memorial jewelry, pet urns and about two dozen caskets. So Wal-Mart plans to play a major role in serving funeral needs.
- Consumers will have more power in choosing a casket, and they will be able to avoid the "marked up" prices at funeral homes.
- Consumers will not have someone looking at how much money they had on their insurance then, only show you the most expensive caskets.
- Finding somewhere to store the casket until you leave this life.
- The personal convenience of choosing a casket.
Purchasing Caskets Online
Purchasing caskets online is not new, online retailers have been offering this for years. Now that Wal-Mart and Costco have got on that "train", it has been put in the media spotlight. One thing I know about funerals is that "human contact" at a funeral home is a very important element. It provides a comfort during a very difficult time.
I am sure that Wal-Mart did their research into online casket sales, before they just jumped in. My guess is that it must be pretty lucrative for them to even get involved. Maybe Wal-Mart is trying to provide every service it can to its customers. One of the reasons that have been rumored is that Wal-Mart is trying to get people to plan ahead. Wal-Mart.com will allow consumers to pay for caskets over a 12-month period, with no interest. You can have the casket shipped straight to you doorstep, or to the funeral home. ( I still don't know if the funeral home is required to store it for an extended period of time.) It also doesn't say if they will carry it inside the garage for you. OK what about when it's time to move it to the funeral home? I mean that is a good question. Will the funeral home come get it? Will you have to rent a u-haul, if you can't find anyone with a truck?
Laid to Rest
Some see this as a business move, others feel that it is a bit overboard. Wal-Mart says it is keeping up with the competition. (Right when Super Targets were about to catch up) This is really just a sign of the times. There is already not too much you can't buy online. So Wal-Mart just "saw" Costco's bet. The question is how and will they raise the stakes. Will we see a Wal-Mart Funeral Home? Will Wal-Mart open a cemetery for its customers? Maybe they will call it, "Wal-Marts Way to Rest".
In today's competitive world of business, nothing should surprise you. But what if, just what if, one day you are in Wal-Mart shopping for a new desk in the furniture section, and you come across a aisle of caskets? I mean you try on clothes to see how they fit, you sit on the furniture to see if its comfortable. Do you climb in the casket on aisle 28, to see if you fit or how you look. Wow!! Only at Wal-Mart, where peop...I mean prices keep falling.
I know I have put a few jokes in this article, the truth is that I am still trying to come to grips with Wal-Mart selling caskets. So forgive me.
The truth is that Wal-Mart cares a lot about retaining its customers. Even after they have past away.
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