As more Americans choose cremation—often dispensing with the need for caskets, burial plots and dreary rituals—the funeral industry is reinventing itself. The goal: stay relevant and avoid a plunge in profit.
“This industry was really built around selling a casket,” Thomas Ryan, chief executive of Service Corp. International, the largest U.S. operator of funeral homes, said in an interview. “Now it’s really about remembering the person.”
That can mean elaborate pageantry. “We don’t call it a funeral service,” said Brad Rex, chief executive of Foundation Partners Group, which owns 50 funeral homes and nine cemeteries in 14 states. “We call it a gathering.”
Funeral Industry Seeks Ways to Stay Relevant - WSJ