Every once in a while we like to just bring our readers news from around the world of Death Care. And, today, our news around the world of death care is truly from around the world.
The following articles bring news from three continents — from North America we bring you news of funeral home mergers and acquisitions, from Great Britain we bring you news from the Funeral Co-op and how they are coping with the changing attitudes of the consumer, and finally from Australia we bring you news about a process that seems to be growing that entails embracing living memorial forests as an alternative to traditional burial.
- An acquisition in Waverly, Iowa — This article from the Waverly Courier tells of the acquisition of the Kaiser Corson Funeral Homes by four of the employee funeral directors. Kaiser Corson is an almost 120 year family owned operation in its fourth generation of family service. The new ownership group, of which none is from the Kaiser or Corson families, combines over 50 years of experience with the Kaiser Corson brand and over 70 years of industry experience. Here is the web-site of the Kaiser Corson Funeral Homes.
- An acquisition and merger in Massachusetts — Normand Marcher just turned 75 years old and has spent his entire life in the funeral business. He recently sold his physical place of business in Pepperell, Massachusetts. He then merged his business with that of Badger Funeral Home in Groton, Massachusetts. The two businesses will now combine in the Badger Funeral Home.
Badger Funeral Home owner Glenn Burlamachi said in this article from the Lowell Sun, “With every funeral home, families are loyal. Most families are loyal to a specific funeral home. There are many families that are loyal to the Marchand Funeral Home, so to keep the option available to those families instead of closing the doors, Norman and I approached each other so that he can take a step back and the connections (Marchand) have developed over the years can be maintained.”
Marchand also commented in the article, I knew that my families were well taken care of, and that means a lot to me. Sometimes you can’t put a price on these things.”
- Great Britain’s Co-op Funeral set to overhaul its operations — This article from the Herald tells of Great Britain’s Funeral Co-operative and their plans to overhaul there operations after their profits fell by over 50% last year. The company stated that part of the drop was due to the fact that they saw increased demand for low-cost funerals and cremations without ceremony.
The company says in the article that their revenues from their death care division fell 6% last year to US $203 million in part due to a reduction in the death rate but also in part to changing consumer choices. As a result profits in the division dropped to US $16.25 million from the year previous’ US $35 million.
Overall, the co-operative, which also operates grocery stores, insurance, and legal services saw their total revenues grow to US $6.73 billion from US $ 6.03 billion. They also mentioned that in 2020 they plan to roll-out a health division nationally.
- Australian Company provides alternative to earth burial – In this article from abc.net Australia you can read about Melbourne based Living Legacy and their process which is allowing ashes to be infused in soil to provide a final resting place for cremated remains. According to the article, cremated remains contain high levels of sodium which can damage the composition of soil and prevent a plant from thriving.
However, Living Legacy has developed an innovation that adds microbes to the remains which allows for a neutralization of pH and sodium levels which then allows the ashes to be infused with soil around trees with no harm.