Co-op cuts cost of funerals amid price war

The Co-op group has pledged to cut the cost of funerals and beat competitor quotes amid an industry-wide price war.
The UK's biggest provider of funerals said it would reduce the cost of its "simple funeral" by €100 to €1,895.
The "simple" service is when a basic coffin is provided and the company, not the bereaved, chooses the time and date of the service.Its 4.7 million members can expect a further €200 off the cost of a funeral.Co-op rival Dignity, the UK's largest quoted funerals provider, was forced in January to slash the cost of its simple service to match the Co-op's 2016 offer of €1,995.Now, the Co-op has increased pressure on its competitors by guaranteeing to beat prices offered by its rivals.Robert Maclachlan, managing director of Co-op Funeralcare, said: "Funerals are becoming increasingly price sensitive and in the last two years we have seen a huge shift in the number of clients seeking affordable funeral choices."Our new guarantee to beat on price means that families choosing a funeral with the Co-op can be assured that they are receiving a competitively priced funeral, with no compromise on our high standards of care."

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Britain's funeral market is dominated by Co-op Funeralcare and listed rival Dignity, which have been slugging it out for market dominance.The Co-op holds about 16% share of the market in the UK and Dignity has around 12%.Despite slashing the price of its "no frills" funerals, Dignity was forced to issue a profits warnings after a lower-than-expected take-up of the service.The Co-op said its measures come off the back of its recent survey of 30,000 people on death and bereavement, which revealed that as many as four million Britons suffered financial hardship after a bereavement.They also reflect the fact that more people are selecting its most affordable funeral choices.
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Mr Maclachlan added: "The fact that four million Brits have suffered financial hardship after a bereavement is startling."As a member-owned organisation, the changes we are making form part of a long-term focus we have on leading the market to further assist the bereaved in tackling funeral affordability."
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