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Forest Lawn mall kiosks: Make burial plans while shopping

August 16, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Planning for your final resting place or that of a loved one can be intimidating. It's not something many of us want to do. But now one locally based mortuary is making it easier by letting you do your planning at the mall.

The next time you go to the mall to pick up a sweater, suit or pair of shoes, you might also pick up a cemetery plot at Forest Lawn.

Creepy or not, it makes sense. A typical mortuary or cemetery can be intimidating.

"It's accessibility for people, and I think it's a very comfortable environment for them at the end of the day. And I think they're OK with it," said Ben Sussman with Forest Lawn.

Forest Lawn Memorial Park has been around since 1906 and has been very innovative in its marketing. It was the first to use billboards and radio. Now it has kiosks in five different Westfield malls in the Southern California area, including one in West Covina.

"We were definitely concerned to think how will people approach this and how will they feel. Will they be nervous? Will they be fearful? Will they steer clear? And we decided we were going to take the chance," said Jeri Erling, leasing manager at Westfield West Covina.

So far, the chance has paid off.

"It is actually something I had in mind to do, but I didn't have a chance to go and go into the office and take care of that, so if it's here in the mall, it's so convenient," said shopper Brenda Quintana of West Covina.

Forest Lawn doesn't actually sell anything in the kiosks. They're mainly there for information about their cemetery plots and to show examples of things such as urns.


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