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Case Study: Profitability of Glass Front Niches

Case Study: Profitability of Glass Front Niches

Cemeteries around the world are all facing the same challenge when evaluating capital improvement projects. How will they know their project will be profitable during these uncertain economic times?  On one hand, the media is reporting capacity challenges for burial space affecting dense urban areas. On the other hand, modern cultures are becoming less religious and less ceremonial, which reduces the demand for traditional burial space. Finally, the projected trends on cremation statistics continue to rise. How can cemeteries justify a capital improvement project to their governing boards if the data indicates that demand for burial space is decreasing?

The solution is to propose alternatives to traditional burial space and position these projects as profit drivers instead of operational expenses. Once your governing board understands the long-term business impact of these decisions, it will be easier for them to make informed decisions on where to allocate the budget.  Every cemetery is different, and every cemetery faces unique challenges relating to the communities they serve. However, every cemetery shares the goal of maximizing profits of their existing facilities. Installing glass front niches is a proven method for maximizing profits and return on investment, and this quick illustration explains why. The margin between the construction costs and retail sales price of the niche space is relatively high, giving cemeteries a vehicle for rapidly converting an initial cost into a profit center.

As an example, consider a typical glass front niche with 96 available niche spaces. The average installation cost per niche is $220, and that space sells at an average price of $2,300. That price level offers a significant savings to your clients over a traditional burial, while providing a strong return on investment for your cemetery. Based on these numbers, the break-even point for your installation is approximately 9.5 niche spaces, meaning your cemetery begins to earn a profit by the 10th niche sold. The remaining 86 niche spaces sold are pure profit, and the projected total revenue is nearly $200,000. The typical sales cycle for selling 96 niches is two years, which means the project is estimated to become profitable within the first year following the installation. All of these factors position glass front niches as a strong solution to the capacity projections challenge faced by cemeteries. Here are a few more items to consider when evaluating glass front niches for your cemetery:

Condensed Footprint

Among the top benefits of installing glass front niches is the condensed footprint as compared to traditional columbarium space. Using glass as the prime material allows for more individual niches per installation, and the recommended heights are taller than the granite materials. This flexibility allows glass front niches to be installed in a variety of configurations to maximize the use of your cemetery’s existing space. This also unlocks the possibility of expanding your cemetery’s capacity. Many of our clients have converted underutilized spaces, such as storage rooms or remote hallways, into a profit stream for their properties.

Design Aesthetic

Glass front niches provide a beautiful alternative to the traditional granite materials used in columbarium space. The overall installation features a warm ambient light that produces a calming glow. The individual niches are decorated tastefully with bronze lights, plaques, or vases to hold fresh flowers. The overall effect is highly artistic and dignified, providing loved ones with a special place to visit and pay tribute. The ability to see the urn directly is also a preferred feature of the glass front niches, as it can feel more personal than a carved granite wall.

Personalization

Along with seeing the urn, loved ones are also drawn to the personalization options available with glass front niches. Global Bronze offers a full line of ornate bronze accessories to decorate each niche, and the unique designs provide the opportunity to celebrate their loved one’s memory in a personalized way. One thing that is unique about glass front niches is the option to place items alongside the urn, such as a framed picture or a special memento. Placing these personal effects in the niche expands the personalization options available, therefore making the niches more desirable. 

At Global Bronze, we only consider a project successful when it improves the profitability of your cemetery. That’s why we use the business impact as a gauge for recommending capital improvements and employ a 3-step process to ensure your project is a success.

Step 1: Our industry specialists will provide a customized plan for your capital improvement project that incorporates both the design aesthetic and the impact to your bottom line.

Step 2: Our seasoned project managers will serve as your trusted advisors through every stage of your project, including feasibility studies, budget and revenue projections, and proposed timelines. They will also stay fully involved throughout the production and installation of your glass front niches. 

Step 3: During the installation, our sales team will train you on the recommended pricing levels and bronze accessory packages to ensure your project is profitable.

Contact our sales team today to request your risk-free property analysis.  

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