Walmart hopes its low price brand promise can take a bite out of the funeral home business by offering caskets for purchase through the Walmart website, which can be shipped in as few as 48-hours. Walmart is also offering a layaway plan, so customers can pay off their caskets over a 12-month period. With price tags ranging from $895 to $2,899 according to the BBC, Walmart is offering its caskets as a beta program to “understand customer response.”
What do you think of this extension of Walmart’s product offerings? The company has grown to offer products to fit just about any stage of a consumer’s life, so perhaps Walmart’s leaders believed that capturing part of the market share of the deceased was the next place to go for continued growth?
There’s something about buying a casket from Walmart that doesn’t sit right with me. On the other hand, caskets are expensive. Maybe there is a target consumer who would comfortably turn to Walmart to help them find a final resting place for their loved-ones during their time of mourning. Or is the correlation of Walmart’s ‘cheap’ brand image in stark contrast to what people are looking for to honor their lost loved-ones? It’s hard to say.
So far, funeral home owners aren’t overly concerned by the Walmart threat, claiming the human-touch they offer to consumers is far more important than the lower prices Walmart offers.
Would you buy your loved-one a coffin from Walmart’s website (they’re only available for purchase online)?
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