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The US funeral services market is currently estimated to be worth around $20.7 billion annually, with in excess of 2 million funerals taking place each year.
There is an estimated 23,000 funeral directors currently offering services in the US, but exact numbers prove to be difficult to pinpoint as the profession is regulated differently by each State.
In recent years, the funeral industry has become more competitive with the emergence of "alternative" funeral service providers and retail stores. These organisations market themselves as a lower cost alternative to traditional funeral homes.
These alternative funeral service providers typically offer the services of Funeral Directors but they may specialise in certain services or offer a packaged, simplified, or "no frills" approach. For example, they may specialise in cremation or offer only graveside services.
To control costs, many of these organisations do not own their own funeral homes. Instead, they will rent facilities on an hourly or daily basis as needed.
Market share concentration in the industry is low, with the top four companies, National Funeral Directors Assn, Service Corp International, Hillenbrand Inc, and Daniels Family Funeral Services, accounting for an estimated 13.1% of total industry revenue in 2012.
The majority of the 24,881 funeral home operators are small, locally-owned, independent operations that have been in business for more than 47 years and perform about 110 funerals and 150 burials per year.
The funeral services industry is intensely local, with most funeral homes serving customers that live within a 10- to 15-mile radius of the property's location.
Pre-burial services, which include embalming and cosmetic preparation, transportation, facility rental for wakes and memorial services, account for about 40% of revenue.
Sales of caskets and other funeral goods (urns, wreaths, etc.) make up about 25% of revenues. Other sources of revenue include burial rights.
For more information on the US funeral services market, see the latest research: US Funeral Services Market
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