Funeral Kiosks: Puts a whole new meaning to Shop Til You Drop!

funerals-shopping-mallFunerals have been given some more media coverage this week as the story hit the news about a funeral company in California that had opened up funeral kiosks in shopping malls.  Of course, this coverage of funeral planning is not bad news, it does draw to the public’s attention the notion of pre-purchasing a funeral, a casket or even a cemetery plot or cremation niche!

The shopping mall today is our new religion and where many of us congregate in our leisure time – a funeral IS a purchase, so why not open outlets in shopping malls?  Til We Meet Again, a custom casket and cremation urn retailer started opening locations in malls some time ago and now operates locations in four states.

It seems culturally we find the idea of funerals being sold in malls distasteful and I wonder why!  Forest Lawn, the Californian company now operating funeral kiosks, claim the mall is a much ‘happier’ place for people to reflect on their end of life wishes.

Interestingly The Consumerist asked readers to vote for where they would rather purchase funeral arrangements.  The results were:

  • Online 45.89%
  • At a funeral home 43.29%
  • At a shopping mall 10.82%

So it certainly seems that the mall is not the location many of us would choose to make our funeral arrangements.

Funerals have always been regarded as difficult to market.  A funeral is a purchase that everyone will need, yet no one wants to think about!  According to the executive director of the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association “Funeral planning is something everybody knows they must do, but at the same time it’s something nobody wants to do.”

Our grandparents were of the generation that did take out burial insurance or set up a funeral plan with the local funeral home.  But as we have become a more mobile population, and a culture more interested in the now and instant gratification, there has been less interest in ensuring our final wishes are prepared for.

The fact that the largest majority would prefer to purchase funeral arrangements online is surely a reflection of how our times are changing!  Many of the funeral providers we work with are now offering online funeral planning arrangements.  Some cremation providers even offer complete online cremation arrangement so there is no need to visit a funeral home!

To find out more about making cremation arrangements online, visit your local DFS Memorials provider.

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