Music to your ears

July 4, 2013By Focus on the Pharmacy Front End Blog, Independent Pharmacy

by Dave Wendland

Employees dancing in the aisles will most likely not increase sales. But I’m amazed at the number of retail executives I speak to who have given the reins of their musical selections to their employees who then insist on playing what they enjoy listening to.

Now, I don’t want to appear an ogre, but it isn’t the staff that needs to be “tuned in” or “turned on” by the music playing over the store’s airwaves. Instead the music should be reflective of the type of shopping experience the store is striving to generate for its shoppers. Simply put, the streaming music should satisfy shoppers!musical selections

I was recently in a relatively large department store that I believe was alienating its clientele with its music. Here’s what I observed and what I heard: the majority of shoppers in the store were gray-haired and walking in pairs through the perimeter of the store toward their destination category. Blaring through the store’s sound system was some explicit rap music. Please don’t think that I’m suggesting that rap is not liked by large segments of the population; but not the one I observed on this day.

I saw two women covering their ears because of the intense bass booming through the store. One man had a look of shock on his face due to the embarrassment the lyrics were causing. And I saw yet another couple scurry toward the exit as quickly as they entered the store shaking their heads in disbelief.

The answer to the question of what music should adorn the aisles is likely right before our eyes. It only takes a moment to inquire. I know of one retailer who recently asked its patrons to fill out a brief survey about their shopping experience. Among the questions was one about the types of music they listened to on a regular basis – along with some questions on self-checkout (that’s a different blog!). Once they compiled the answers they could see a pattern emerge. They now play a wide range of 50s music and they are witnessing their customers tapping their feet to the beat and literally dancing from aisle to aisle. Not to mention that sales have increased!

So, do you believe that employees will become disgruntled if they can no longer select the music they have to listen to day-in and day-out?

Are there certain types of music that you feel would be nearly universally accepted and non-offensive (and I personally think it is neither elevator music nor rap!)?

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