When a loved one dies, grieving family members and friends often are confronted with dozens of decisions about the funeral – all of which must be made quickly and often under great emotional duress. What kind of funeral should it be? What funeral provider should you use? What other arrangements should you plan?
The local funeral home is one of the most venerable businesses around. A factory or a department store may shut down, but the funeral home goes on and on, more often than not with a family name attached.
The constancy of death makes undertaking a relatively stable business, and several hundred funeral service businesses have been operating at any given time for most of the last century. The industry has become somewhat more concentrated over time, but small-scale firms were still abundant.