O Come All Ye Faithful… Shoppers

Ding Dong Merrily, or Not?

It’s the first of December today. That’s when Christmas festivities can start, right?

Apparently not. They now seem to start much earlier, with music already being played in shops and the same old tunes playing over and over again, driving staff crazy in the process.

A couple of weeks ago I posted about Christmas songs being played in the shops in November. Most people said it was too early. Some thought that retailers believed it helped increase festive sales.

Daryl Mitchell from Freedom Music, who works with retailers in providing overhead music and messaging, said that we would find that most retailers have 20% Christmas tracks during November. That ratio will increase in December to 40% and 60%. Most shops will then increase up to 80% during the week before 25 December. “We partner with over 300 of the major retail brands on the high street and none of them play Christmas music all day every day during November”, he said.

Perhaps smaller retailers don’t adhere to this but consumers feel that it is the big brands that are constantly playing Christmas music.

So, guess what I did? I ASKED consumers. I did that little thing that so few retailers do, because think they already know best. On my Facebook Business page I simply put:

Christmas songs playing in shops in November.

The majority, 68% of respondents, said they did NOT like it. 8% of those replying even said it made them walk out of the shop.

Comments included “makes me even more inclined to shop online” and “Awful, I leave the shop straight away!” Although one did say “Yay!!! Me and my toddler were having a snazzy dance to Xmas songs in Morrissons and he loved every minute of it.”

Perhaps it is good for those companies aiming at people with young families?

One person said “Here in Haywards Heath we have had to put up with it in Mark’s and Spencer, staff and customers alike have complained. Meanwhile, in Crawley Mall a poll was conducted and they will not start until 1 December, the right decision, I feel.

There it is again… asking consumers (and your staff!) and acting upon the responses.

Not one person who works, or has ever worked, in retail said they were happy with it though! Retailers would do well to listen and act upon feedback from staff. After all, happy staff provide better service….

A gin store in York banned cheesy modern Christmas music for the sake of its staff. They play Christmas music but there’s a cut off for anything after the 1960s!

Do you think that bosses believing they know better than their customers and staff, who speak to customers every day, about what they want is an arrogant way to behave?

How to save money when shopping for Christmas and in the sales


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Author: Helen Dewdney, The Complaining Cow

Consultant | Author | Speaker | Blogger | Presenter | Journalist Helping to make, prevent and deal with complaints

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