The other day I was doing some research for the “Finance” portion of Funeral Director Daily. I like to search public companies world-wide who compete in the death care space and learn where I might be able to make a good investment for the long haul. In any regard, I was researching InvoCare Limited, Australia’s largest provider of death care services and learning more about them.
While doing that research I came up with a division of InvoCare that I found very interesting. The division that I refer to is their division called LifeArt Coffins whose web-site you can access here. LifeArt and its products talk about “Celebrate the Life Worth Celebrating” and the idea of “personalized eco-friendly” coffins, basically made to order.
Funeral Director Daily take: I don’t know all the details as to cremation in Australia and New Zealand, but I do know it is rising as it is in North America and Great Britain. I also know funeral service companies are nervous about where the drop in revenues that services without the purchase of merchandise, such as caskets, will lead them in profitability as we move forward.
For me, as I look at LifeArt Coffins, I see a product that may lead a direct cremation client family to more services, such as embalming and visitation, if they can, for an inexpensive price, provide a personalized casket for their loved one. I know that this is not the first time this has been tried — there are the Batesville interchangeable corners and head panels and there are the caskets that can come in collegiate colors, however, it appears that this may be a time where the play is on, what I believe to be, an inexpensive decorated to order casket.
We live in a world where we expect things fast — I can order a pair of shoes right now sitting at my computer and have them delivered to my door tomorrow morning. I think we will move that way with some aspects of funeral service in the future. If my loved one is dying today, maybe I would like the option of customizing her casket/coffin from my computer screen and have it at the funeral home when I go in to make arrangements tomorrow. If we can get to that point — whether for caskets/coffins or other merchandise — I think we can satisfy the consumer and drive more merchandise and sales to our businesses.