Funeral Industry Essay

876 Words 4 Pages
The funeral industry is a pretty new term. According to the website, ttps://www.funeralwise.com/learn/industry/, “Until the twentieth century, funerals were held at home and arranged by family and neighbors.” Usually, the loved ones were buried on the family’s property. As times changed and towns became larger, there began to be established cemeteries. After the cemeteries were established, funeral homes were later developed. These funeral homes assisted the family when someone died. Another aspect of the funeral industry is the undertaker. The undertaker term evolved since, they were the person who took care of the funeral arrangements. In the early start of the funeral industry, some of the first undertakers were actually furniture makers. …show more content…
Cremation was in the United States for a while, however it became a viable option in the 1960s. From then on, cremation grew in popularity. Some funeral directors did not have the resources, technology, or even tolerance for cremation. However, as Americans grew tolerant of the practice and became more popular, the funeral industry found ways to accommodate for cremation. In the early part of the 21st century, the cremation rates rose to 25%. As a result, many funeral homes even built their own crematoriums or contracted with independently owned facilities. From there, cemeteries even adapted and started building columbaria’s. Columbaria are buildings in the cemeteries, where some people place the urns in. The industry now have stylish urns in which people can purchase. Furthermore, they even offer a viewing of the body before it is cremated, so the family and loved ones can have …show more content…
In the past years, most were owned and operated by families and passed onto their children and so on. These generations of the small family owned businesses changed in the 1960s when the larger companies purchased the funeral homes. Even though the larger companies own the funeral homes, they still operate under the past family name. Furthermore, the seller and existing employees will many times stay with the business and continue as usual. After the consolidation, many changes occur discreetly such as, improving computer systems and other business practices to increase their profit. Even after many consolidations, there are mostly small independent family owned funeral homes. But, the four largest funeral homes own approximately 15 to 20% of the 23,000 funeral homes in the US. These same funeral home operators also own about 1,000 of the 20,000 cemeteries in America. The cemeteries also went a consolidation with these companies at the same time of the funeral home consolidation. In present time, the funeral industry is becoming more competitive. They are offering “alternative: funeral service providers and even retail stores. These offer lower costs compared to traditional funeral homes. These alternative funeral service providers usually have a funeral director. However, they do offer simpler packages. One example is, that they can do only graveside services or cremation. Furthermore, they usually do not own a funeral home but rent a facility to hold

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