An article written in Australia’s The Guardian points out that after a six month test the Salvation Army will be entering the funeral business on that continent. Salvo (short for Salvation) says that after doing about 90 services in their six month trial they will be starting up and operating in the New South Wales territory and eventually expand to Brisbane in 2018.
According to Salvo’s Chief Executive, Malcolm Pittendrigh, this will be a “natural extension” of the Salvation Army’s work of meeting the needs of the community and return the clients money to the not-for-profit sector.
Prittendrigh believes that there is room for a lower price model and the business can meet the needs of lower socio-economic people who are concerned about spending too much on final rites. He also believes that there is a real “knowledge gap” in people when making funeral arrangements and believes that the credibility of the Salvation Army can help close that gap.
As far as price points, Salvo will have a base offering of AUS $2,180 (US $1,656) for a no- service, no- attendance cremation. That is significantly lower than the AUS $4,000 (US $3,040) that competitor Asic quoted.
Funeral Director Daily take: I’ve always thought that future competition may come from a non-traditional source that just learns how to take care of clients better. Funeral homes need to keep watching their flanks as non-profits such as the Salvation Army and even local hospices look to broaden their work in their communities of influence.