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Why Stores Without Music Have Fewer Sales and Less Productive Staff

Posted by Dean Asher on 8/27/15 12:00 AM
Topics: college retail, retail management

Do you play music in your store? As it turns out, research shows it does more than provide a little ambiance. The University of Windsor find music increases employees' moods and enhances their perception at work, while the Journal of Music Therapy find music can lower tension. RetailMinded explored how this works in a store setting. Be sure to read their full post.


Productivity studies

Beyond improving your employees’ moods and lowering tension at work, research published in the journal Applied Ergonomics shows that people who listen to music while conducting repetitive work tasks are more efficient. In addition, an article published by the Institute of Leadership and Management states that managers can cut the number of sick days by seven million and increase worker productivity just by playing music in the background at work.

Playlist services

Professional playlist makers like Spencer Manio are behind what you hear coming from the speakers at the mall. Manio has worked for retailers including Nordstrom, Converse, Under Armour and BlackBerry via PlayNetwork, an agency that reaches 75 million people per day. Additional music services such as Custom Channels, Mood Mixes and Sound Reef provide background music for a wide range of retail stores. From art galleries to clothing retailers, these providers help reinforce brand identity by creating a specific mood suitable for both customers and employees. And in many cases, it’s affordable. Mood Mixes, for example, charges just $15 each month for services.

Sound systems

Before outfitting your retail establishment with a music-playing system, consider the pros and cons of using surround sound versus sound bars. According to The Dig, retail spaces that are larger than 15 by 20 are best suited for surround sound systems. But for smaller spaces, like boutiques, a sound bar is a good option.

The bottom line

Mark Faithfull, writing for Retail Week, states that music played in a retail space reflects the brand message and enhances the customer experience. And if this is done correctly, it results in a higher volume of sales. So, which music is right for retail? Music experts like Vanessa Walmsley of Mood Media say a mix of ambient playlists and recognizable artists is best for drawing in customers and keeping employees engaged.

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