InvoCare Launches in Southern California, Should SCI and Other Funeral Corporations Be Worried?

February 25, 2015
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In a press release sent out Wednesday, InvoCare called itself ‘an industry start-up’ and said the “funeral industry is dying”.

InvoCare is hardly a funeral industry start-up (maybe in the US) but Invocare is a major player in the Austraila and Singapore.

From InvoCare’s corporate website, www.Invocare.com.au:

InvoCare is an Asia-Pacific company listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. InvoCare owns and operates funeral homes, cemeteries and crematoria around Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and the United States of America. InvoCare is well known for its commitment to family care, community engagement and investor value.

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InvoCare opened locations in southern California in November of 2014 according to their earnings report. The below press release from Wednesday is they first public announcement we have seen in the US thus far.

From InvoCare:

What would it look like if Nordstrom or Apple created a funeral service? Southern California is about to find out.

InvoCare, an innovative funeral services startup, has introduced a new approach that focuses on what consumers want and need when they’ve endured a loss: convenience, affordability, and an uplifting experience. The company’s unique model features:

  •     A concierge service that meets with the bereaved in their home or office
  •     Simple, easy-to-understand pricing for affordable options
  •     An emphasis on a celebration of life

Led by 25-year industry veteran Michael Miller, the new company is initially offering services in Southern California, with plans to expand later.

This new approach to funerals comes at a time when people are growing weary of traditional options in the $16.2 billion business. A survey by Funeralwise.com about consumer preferences found that 48 percent of those surveyed would like a celebration of life while just 11 percent want a traditional funeral.

“The old funeral model is, well, dying,” says Miller, the company’s CEO. “People are tired of the expensive, traditional, dark and depressing funeral experience.”

To meet the demand for a new approach, InvoCare has jettisoned the hushed conversation in the funeral home director’s office and replaced it with highly trained concierges who arrive at a designated meeting place – a coffee shop, home, or office – to review options that meet the family’s needs. Their emphasis is on selecting an approach that works with the family’s budget and preferences, whether it’s a traditional church funeral followed by a burial, or cremation and an uplifting celebration of life at a unique venue especially suited to the person being remembered.

“That celebration might be a barbecue in a park or a sunset service on the beach,” says Miller. “Our goal is to help plan just what they need to celebrate the life they’ve lost.”

InvoCare includes a casket in the basic burial plan and an urn in basic cremation plan which eliminates any real or perceived pressure to spend more than they want.

Concierge funeral planning service through InvoCare is now available in Southern California from North Los Angeles to South San Diego. For more information, visit http://www.invocares.com. View a video about the InvoCare Difference

So we have to ask: Does InvoCare pose a threat to SCI and the other large funeral corporations in the United States?

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