Funeral parlors aren’t the go-go growth industry they used to be. According to a recent BusinessWeek article, cremation is absolutely killing funeral parlors. Cremation, which costs about one-fifth of your average ‘Six Feet Under’ type funeral service, is now used in 30 percent of all deaths and will account for fully half by 2025.
But, we shouldn’t sound the death knell for funeral parlors just yet. They’re fighting back with smart entertainment-focused line extensions, including video memorials of a loved one’s life, prime rib dinners and champagne fountains.
It’s comforting to know that the seemingly dour death industry can rise to the occasion and add just as many bells and whistles as your average Las Vegas casino.
In fact, why should the funeral parlors stop with prime rib dinners and videos? Why not add gambling and entertainment to the equation? Just imagine how uplifting Black Jack tables and roulette wheels with high-heeled, well-proportioned waitresses dispensing drinks could be. Hey, there could even be a floor show. In fact, the funeral parlor circuit could breathe new life into aging Rock performers such as Blue Oyster Cult. I mean, is there any more appropriate song for ‘passing over’ than ‘Don’t fear the reaper"?
I don’t think we’ll have to wait too long for the funeral parlor industry to add a whole new dimension to their service offerings (and be able to charge ever more outrageous fees in the process). In response, crematoriums will be forced to light a fire under their acts as well. Low costs will always attract a certain type of clientele, but, hey guys, this is war. So here’s guessing that it won’t be too much longer before we learn that a crematorium has booked a Jim Morrison look-alike to sing, ‘Break on through" as some family bids a fond farewell to their dearly departed.