What retail staff and customers think about Christmas music

Christmas decorated shopping mall

By mid-November, Christmas music begins playing in shops and malls across the Western world. But what do staff think about the music piped through the tinny speakers of winter-themed display windows?

Posted on February 19, 2022

And, importantly, what do customers think? Does hearing Wham's ‘Last Christmas’ have a calming effect on customers jostling for last-minute Christmas gifts, or does it send them running for the door?

As a follow-up to the most significant academic study ever made on restaurant music, Soundtrack Your Brand presents a comprehensive survey of Christmas music.

“As a company doing intense research on background music, we are fascinated by the effect holiday classics are having on the Christmas shopping experience”

Ola Sars, Founder and CEO at Soundtrack Your Brand

He adds that he hopes this study will make retailers think carefully about playing ‘White Christmas’ and ‘Fairytale of New York’ on a loop over the next eight weeks.
"We are fascinated by the effect holiday classics are having on the Christmas shopping experience", Ola says.

In collaboration with the Retail Action Project, we've talked to more than 2,000 customers and retail staff in the U.S. and U.K. about their feelings towards Christmas music.

“It’s crucial that not only shoppers are taken into account when putting together the right holiday playlist—the wellbeing of those behind the cash registers and on the shop floor should be a huge priority for businesses during the busy festive season," Sars says.

The study includes stocking-filler charts from Soundtrack Your Brand’s data experts, showing which songs and artists rule the holiday season.

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