Co-op joined the funeral price war

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The co-op offers to beat funeral prices offered by rivals, in the midst of greater competition in the sector.

The firm is also to reduce the cost of its lowest priced “Simple” funeral.

Rival provider, Dignity, found more of its clients chose a budget option, with a standard coffin, and no-frills post, he has reduced the price earlier this year.

Royal London, said last week that the average cost of a funeral has very slightly decreased in the last year to £3,757.

While the direct costs of the burial and cremation have increased, the funeral directors have lowered their costs to compensate for this, the Royal London National Funeral cost Index indicated.
‘Difficulties’

The Co-op said that it was reducing its prices in response to a survey the company released last month by looking at the financial impact of death and mourning.

The survey, conducted by YouGov, has found four million people in the UK had suffered difficulties in the wake of the death of a loved one.

Robert Maclachlan, director-general of the co-operative Funeralcare business, said the move was part of a more long-term, focus on “the fight against affordability”.

“In the last two years, we have seen a huge change in the number of clients who want the funeral choice,” he added.

Nearly four times as many people chose the cheaper services now, compared to 2015, the Co-op said.

As well as promising to charge less than its competitors, the Co-op said that it would reduce the cost of the cheapest funeral package of £100, and to provide members of the cooperative increased discounts.Transparency problem

The funeral services sector is under pressure this year to become more transparent about how its products are sold.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has launched an investigation in June to ensure that consumers were “not making a bad deal”.

The results will be published during the summer, but an interim report is expected before the end of this year.

Funeral directors do not always offer the mourning of the full range of options available or give them a complete breakdown of what is in each package, according to Ashley Shepherd, managing director of More than 50 Choices, a financial planning, consulting.

Families may find they are left with unexpected, additional costs for headstones, for example, who have been included.

“People don’t buy because they are upset and emotional,” said Mr. Berger. “Too high”

Increased competition in what is essentially an unregulated sector, as well as the increase of the scan – allowing the customers to compare prices more efficiently – are likely to raise costs further down, according to James Congdon, an analyst at Canaccord Genuity, who has studied the sector.

“There is a lot of evidence that prices are too high,” he said, in particular relative to the margin in the same sector in other countries.

“With the backdrop of the CMA investigation into the pricing, and clarity of pricing, is perhaps not a surprise that prices are down.”

According to Royal London, over the past five years, the average cost of a funeral has increased broadly in line with inflation.