Thursday, April 24, 2014


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Caskets at Wal-Mart?

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Caskets at Wal-Mart?
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It's true what they say. You really can buy anything online! YNN's Joleene Des Rosiers tells us how big box retail stores are now offering caskets for purchase. And it's got one Central New York distributor a bit concerned.

EAST SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- When a loved one dies, the last thing you may think about is where to buy a casket. But it's part of the process. You may even sit down and look for one online. And you'll find them. At Wal-Mart. Or Costco. But local distributor Steve Lyon says buying from the big box is a bad idea.

"Wal-Mart doesn't have the caskets at the local Wal-Mart store. They're serviced by some out of state company that essentially puts your casket on a plane, delivers it to your local airport. Somebody has to pick it up and deliver it to the funeral home," Lyon said.

And sometimes, the casket doesn't make it where it's supposed to go. One consumer had an issue with their purchase going to a completely different state! But no matter, big box stores are in it for the money.

"Big box retailers and retailers in general are all searching for more revenue. And death is one of those things that isn't going to go away. And it's, unfortunately, a growing marketplace. And so there's an opportunity to make some money, you're going to see retailers step in and try to pitch those types of products," said Pat Penfield of the Whitman School of Management.

Lyon says he serves only those in New York State.

"The last thing I want to do to any family is to over promise and under deliver. And I know if I'm in control of everything, then that casket that they purchased will be at that funeral home," Lyon said. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP