The Salvos Funeral services, a non-profit funeral service provider, is one of the newest amidst the number of funeral directors in Sydney. Salvos is different by virtue of the fact that it is deliberately aimed at the cut-price side of the funeral market, with tight-budgeted Australians and those lacking the socio-economic position to afford traditional funerals as its primary demographic.
Founded by the Salvation Army as an undertaking branch of the non-profit group, it is headed by Malcolm Pittendrigh, who operated as the Salvation Army’s accountant for over 20 years. He says that he believed that the Salvation Army’s brand could work well in the funeral service market, with the cost of funerals in Australia being as high as they are.
For reference, a basic funeral from Salvos will set an Australian back $2180, whilst averages hover at around the $5000-8000. It’s also not unheard of for a customer to pay more than $9000 for a funeral service, with prices going no lower than $4500.
Pittendrigh states that their customers not only get far more expensive quotes from other funeral directors in Sydney, but that prices can vary wildly based on a lot of other details about the funeral service. He states that, with prices being so expensive, the Salvation Army started up Salvos Funeral to help, seeing as they do not require the margins other providers do. He states that Salvos offer cheaper funeral services with same amount of care as its competition, with little to no differences in terms of choices on caskets or floral arrangements.
He states that the reason for the cheaper rates from Salvos is due to the lessened margin requirements: the Salvation Army already possesses a notable infrastructure and real estate, such as auditoriums and buildings, necessary to provide cheaper options, and that some of their members are of the proper professions to help with funerals; ordained ministers and the like.
Mr. Pittendrigh was the one that pitched the idea, and leads it as CEO. He states that the experience forced him to learn quite a bit during the transition from accounting to undertaking.