Bad Muzak Makes Us Walk

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

No, no, no it’s not allegations of wife-beating this month but a certain Bruno Brookes gets a (nicer) mention in Saturday’s UK newspaper the Daily Mail.

Dr Vicky Williamson

Titled ‘How half of us have left a shop because of its muzak

Immedia’s science officer scientific adviser Dr Vicky Williamson is quoted on the survey of 1,000+ shoppers who were asked both about their attitude to in-store music, and about how music affects them psychologically and emotionally.

Key results from the survey are as follows:

  • Three-quarters of shoppers (73%) will notice the music playing in-store
  • Out of those that do, 40% will stay longer in a shop if they feel the music is well chosen for the environment. Conversely, 40% will spend less time there if they feel the music isn’t suitable
  • In fact, 49% of all shoppers said they have stayed longer in shops because they like the music vs 45% that don’t
  • Excluding don’t knows, half of all shoppers say they left a shop because they didn’t like what was playing or because it was annoying
  • Overall, a quarter of shoppers (23%) say they would be less likely to return to a retailer if they don’t like the music it plays

Whilst this is definitely worth repeating, personally I feel that there is nothing new here, it’s pretty much what we know already as it is oft told by fellow experts such as Julian Treasure and others. See Julian’s guest post ‘Sound Health In 8 Steps‘ here for example.

The issue is that retailers just ignore what is pretty much common sense.


Noun: Recorded light background music played through speakers in public places.

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