Australia’s biggest undertakers just keep getting bigger. But is their growth coming at the expense of grieving families?
eziFunerals Founder, Peter Erceg has raised concerns about the ongoing battle between InvoCare and Propel Funeral Partners in their race to expand their share of the ‘death care industry’.
Following this weeks announcement of the acquisition of Newhaven Funerals Pty Ltd in North Queensland by Propel Funeral Partners, yesterday we learnt that InvoCare have also acquired another independent funeral home, Southern Highlands Funerals based in Moss Vale, New South Wales
“These latest acquisitions may be good news for shareholders, but not for consumers and independent funeral homes”, he said.
The funeral industry in Australia is currently estimated to be $1.1 billion and is currently dominated by two ASX listed companies, InvoCare and Propel Funeral Partners.
InvoCare and Propel Funeral Partners currently control over 45% market share nationally. This is expected to grow further as InvoCare invests $200 million to increase its footprint as part of their ‘Protect and Grow’ strategy. Invocare currently operate over 270 locations and 16 cemeteries and crematoria. InvoCare has 3 national funeral brands in Australia (White Lady Funerals; Simplicity Funerals; and Value Funerals) and over 30 regional funeral home brands in different states across Australia.
Propel Funeral Partners, became the ASX’s second funeral stock in late 2017 as it sought to emulate Invocare by buying up smaller operators. Propel currently operate in 103 locations, including 23 crematoria and 7 cemeteries.
“These big chains are reporting higher and higher profits as they continue to increase their footprint and buy out small operators to increase their market share at the expense of consumers and the independents”.
eziFunerals calls on consumers and independent funeral directors to unite with them and help develop a co-operative alliance that will challenge the funeral duopoly.”
Despite several inquiries into the industry, government regulators in Australia have failed to tackle ongoing community concerns about rising costs, misleading practices and a growing concentration of market share by two publicly listed companies.
Peter Erceg said “unless consumers and independent funeral directors can operate as a co-operative alliance, they will continue to hit with rising costs and a lack of choice. This is not in the interests of grieving families and family owned funeral homes.”
“eziFunerals has has partnered with some of the best family owned and independent funeral homes who are here to help Australian families before, during and after their time of need”, he said.
The independent funeral homes listed with eziFunerals work together to ensure that consumers receive transparent information and the best possible standard of service at the most realistic cost.
Independent funeral homes are small family owned businesses and provide real value for money when compared to the large corporate brands. They work for consumers and not shareholders of publicly listed companies, InvoCare and Propel Funeral Partners.
eziFunerals is a free consumer advocacy and funeral planning platform that supports individuals and families cope with end of life decisions, death and funerals. We are an independent, Australian-owned and operated company, and are not a subsidiary of any other corporation. We are not part of any other funeral company. Founded by consumers frustrated by how difficult it was to get independent information, eziFunerals supports consumers plan a funeral, compare prices and select the right funeral director anywhere, anytime.