Your 2020 was probably terrible, but this past year was the best ever for Laguna Hills-based Salam International — moneywise, at least.
Weekly team meetings turned into daily ones due to all the extra work. The company’s warehouses in Orange County and New Jersey emptied of bestsellers again and again.
When I visited Salam’s headquarters some weeks ago, shrink-wrapped boxes on pallets sat ready for delivery to the East Coast. A previous shipment was already on its way to Tarrant County, Texas.
“Most people have a certain style and color, but they’re taking anything on the shelves,” explained owner Abdul Salam as he laid out one of his most popular items right now: body bags.
In operation since 1992, Salam International’s business is death. Its 337-page catalog lists everything from autopsy tables to cadaver lifts to three-body refrigerators to an economy embalming station that’s on sale for $3,500.
For the past 12 months, body bags have made life hectic for Salam. Clients can buy them in 16 colors, from black to baby blue to emerald green. With zippers down the middle, around the top or on the edges. Adult- and child-sized. In orders of one or by the tens of thousands.
They’re produced in Thailand, and Salam has 15,000 in stock. An additional 150,000 are in the works. Clients include colleges, counties, states, the military and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
So if you still don’t believe COVID-19 is real, then hear