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Funeral homes open to marketing urns and coffins inside shopping malls

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The mall is a place where shoppers can get a cellphone, ice cream, pizza, eyeglasses, and video games. CBS News reports that a company called Til We Meet Again has quietly decided to join other mall vendors in offering a distinctive product you wouldn’t expect to see in the mall—coffins and urns. For instance, Forest Lawn Cemetery already conducts business in various California malls. It is also the permanent address for celebrities like Michael Jackson and Walt Disney.

"We try to reach our audience where they are at and the mall is a great way to do that."

…Ben Sussman, spokesperson for Forest Lawn.

Though the idea may seem strange, it is an excellent marketing idea because most people don’t have any funeral homes on speed dial. A mall kiosk with a helpful representative could get people to open up about planning for death—a matter most people don’t enjoy discussing.

"When they're going to the mall, people are not going out of need," said Nathan Smith, co-founder and CEO of Til We Meet Again. Smith also says that people may feel more comfortable buying an urn or casket while looking at clothing because it looks less intimidating.

The article does mention one significant difference between coffin vendors and someone trying to pawn off the latest cellphone. While someone in a cellphone kiosk may approach customers about their products, the person manning the funeral home kiosk won’t approach potential customers.

Read more about this unique marketing story at CBS News.

Marc Hoover is a freelance writer and author of two books “You Need a Cellmate, Not a Soulmate” and “21 Things you Gotta Know About the NFL.” Click on the links to buy his books or contact him about this story or anything else at augustlake@fuse.net. Marc also has a website for family members to write messages to their deceased loved ones. Visit Letters Beyond Heaven to either share or read personal letters to beloved family members and friends.

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