Thacker Caskets also expanded northward in 1995 and established a Distribution Center in Hackensack, NJ. Under the capable sales direction of Bob Cullen, Thacker sales in New Jersey, Long Island, and Metropolitan New York City have grown exponentially in this difficult, competition-filled market. Presently, Hackensack is our single busiest warehouse outside of the Clinton Headquarters.
Not content, the company established a warehouse in Bristol, TN in 1998. This allowed them to introduce Thacker Caskets to funeral directors in Western Virginia, Eastern Tennessee, Southeastern Kentucky, and portions of West Virginia. Under the direction and sales leadership of Connie Azure, this Distribution Center has become one of Thacker’s most successful operations.
A major step forward was taken in January, 1999 when Thacker Caskets announced the acquisition of the Loretto Casket Company of Loretto, TN. A well respected manufacturer of metal caskets, Loretto sales had declined in the face of stiff competition and the ever changing funeral supply environment. Immediate improvements were made to the Loretto buildings. New conveyor lines and drying ovens were installed. Under the capable leadership of Plant Manager, Jim Spinks, methods were evaluated and changes made to enhance manufacturing efficiencies. Production grew from approximately 22 caskets per day to over 160 caskets per day—a truly incredible accomplishment and a testimonial to the skills and dedication of the management and employees of the Loretto Casket Company.
For the first time in their history, Thacker Caskets. Inc. was no longer dependent on outside sources to provide them with finished caskets. This was a landmark period in the evolution of the Thacker Casket Company—an expensive venture filled with risk, but one with the promise of substantial reward and enticing independence. After a great deal of blood, sweat, and a few tears, CJ and the Thacker Family could look upon the Loretto purchase and know that they had made a very wise decision. This opened an exciting new chapter in the life of Thacker Caskets, Inc—a chapter that is still being written.
As manufacturing processes at Loretto continued to be refined, and armed with the ability to produce metal caskets from stamped steel to a finished product, Thacker Caskets began to pursue jobber relationships with other family owned casket companies. Soon, a network of loyal customers was developed which ranged from the East Coast to the West Coast. More and more independent casket companies have come to rely on Thacker Caskets, Inc. as a reliable source of quality caskets offered at very competitive prices. Because Thacker controls the production, they have been able to create special designs to meet the specific needs of their jobbers and their individual markets. This customization feature is unique among casket makers and gives Thacker Casket Manufacturing a distinct market advantage.