Funeral Industry News

Is Walmart Selling Any Caskets? I Called to Find Out, Read The Dialogue

December 18, 2009

Ryan Thogmartin is the CEO of DISRUPT Media | Follower of Christ | Husband | Father | Entrepreneur | Host of #DISRUPTu! and #FUNERALnationtv | Lover of Skittles DISRUPT Media is a social media content agency that focuses on storytelling for funeral companies. We use real stories to build creative strategies that achieve actual business goals.

Is Walmart Selling Any Caskets? I Called to Find Out, Read The Dialogue

imageWalmart sure is riding the wave from all the media buzz they have created surrounding the caskets they are selling online. But are they selling any? I haven’t had one email from any funeral director or heard of any funeral director who has had a family buy a Walmart casket online. Everyday more articles are popping up on Google about Walmart selling caskets, and two days ago Costco added more information on their website about the caskets they have been selling in store and now online. So the question still remains: Are they selling any?

I placed two phone calls to Walmart’s Media Relations department this morning. I asked about the decision to sell caskets and if they were in fact actually selling any. The media relations girl (Ashley) did a very good job of not directly answering the questions. Below I have posted the response I received from both calls.

Call 1: I asked Why they started selling caskets and are they in fact selling any.

Walmart Media Relations: I don’t think we have a lot of information available at this time.We don’t break out sales information that specifically, we just release them with our earnings and that formation will not be available until February, but as you probably know several online retailers offer this category on their sites and this is a limited beta test that we began in mid-October and that’s really about all the information we have at this point.

Call 2: I started off by asking about the “beta testing” and what that means.

Walmart Media Relations: I can see if we can track down our dot com folks because it is just an online offering, but that is the information we have right now, it is a limited test that were trying out. Are these not available then in every state?

Walmart Media Relations: I don’t have the details on that, but I know it is something that is offered online, its nothing that is offered in our stores. Do you for see it offered in the store at anytime?

Walmart Media Relations: I don’t know for sure, being that this is a test I don’t have any additional information at this time other than it is offered online. Do you know how long you are going to be testing it for?

Walmart Media Relations: I don’t, I can see if we can track down our dot com folks who might have more information on that, I would be happy to take down your information and have them get back in touch with you.

We really didn’t learn a whole lot of new info from this except the fact that it sounds like Walmart only started selling caskets because other stores were, meaning Costco and Amazon.

I believe the beta testing means that if they exceed their sales expectations, or sales are high and there is a demand online, then they will probably start offering caskets in house. That is what my interpertation of “beta testing online” means.

I was hoping that I would get a call back from the “Dot Com” people but I didn’t. If for some reason I do, I will be sure to share.

In the mean time please let me know what you think “beta testing” means?