We’ve had more than 1,300 comments about background music in shops, making it our third most commented post of all time. So what do the most complained about shops have to say about it?
Three shops have been mentioned more than the others – the Co-operative, Marks & Spencer and B&Q. These stores were the ones you felt were the noisiest of all others (thanks to Dorothy for counting the complaints!). Ceanothus, who’s a member of The Co-op, told us:
‘I used to shop in my local Co-op regularly. No longer. Music is at a very high volume – so loud that transactions can’t be heard at the tills.’
Sue commented on her local M&S:
‘They have started secreting small hi-fi systems around the clothing department, usually at floor level somewhere, which drives me away from what I was going to look at – and eventually out of the store in frustration. I can’t think straight and I certainly can’t enjoy a pleasant, relaxing retail therapy session – quite the opposite!’
Shops on piped music
We took your comments to these three retailers to hear what they had to say in defense of piped music. A spokesperson for The Co-operative Food told us:
‘The music played within our stores is there to act as a pleasant background noise to contribute to the atmosphere, whilst not interfering with conversation within the store. We do take all feedback and observations seriously.’
M&S said its music was reviewed regularly:
‘Our in-store playlist is provided centrally and is designed to appeal to a broad customer base. We review and refresh this on a regular basis and take any customer feedback on board.’
B&Q encourages customers to speak to the store manager about volume levels:
‘The volume on our sound systems is set by our engineers upon installation, but we do allow levels to be changed locally by a member of the team if necessary. We also provide our stores with guidelines on industry best practice to ensure volume levels are acceptable.
‘We would encourage any customers concerned by volume levels to speak to store manager at the time, as they will be best placed to help.’
With all of the stores saying they’ll change noise levels if customers complain, I’d like to hear if such complaints make a difference. And why don’t we put the issue to the vote? Do you like or dislike piped music in shops? Vote in our poll below.
Do you like background music to be played in shops?
No - I don't like background music in shops (49%, 921 Votes)
Yes - I like background music in shops (38%, 705 Votes)
I don't really care to be honest (13%, 245 Votes)
Total Voters: 1,871