Facing monumental state budget deficits, this morning Governor Schwarzenegger used his emergency powers to “nationalize” Walmart stores in California, and he has new plans on where to take the company and its products. Our undead reporters have the scoop, it appears that the next product line to be offered by Walmart with be a full range of funeral services.
Full story after the break
The caskets can be dispatched to buyers within 48 hours
The world’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart, now plans to hold on to customers even after they die – by selling coffins.
Prices range from a “Mom” or “Dad Remembered” steel coffin for $895 (£540), to a bronze model at $2,899.
The retailer is allowing customers to plan ahead by paying for the caskets over 12 months for no interest. They can be dispatched within 48 hours.
Catering for cradle-to-grave needs, Wal-Mart already sells everything from baby wear to engagement rings.
A spokesman for the supermarket giant, Ravi Jariwala, said the new coffin range was “a limited beta test to understand customer response”.
The retailer is offering caskets at prices that undercut many funeral homes, say correspondents.
But an industry spokesman said it was not unduly concerned about Wal-Mart’s move, because he said the firm could not offer bereaved families the human touch.
Pat Lynch, of the National Funeral Home Directors Association, told AP news agency: “There’s no question in my mind as a funeral director for nearly 40 years that the most critical element is the human contact.”