Retail Audio Installation – It’s about the flow, bro!

Bad in store music is like a paper cut. When it happens, it overrides all other senses.

Whereas great retail audio is seamless to the point of being taken for granted. But like all things effortless, good audio flow in a complex retail space requires experience, knowledge and careful planning. Future Dimensions Media’s installation expert, Hardus le Roux, talks us through the tricks of the audio installation trade.

Hardus has always loved music. He plays electric and acoustic guitar, piano and drums and on top of practising daily, he obtained a diploma in Sound Engineering from the Academy of Sound Engineers. He remembers walking around shopping malls wondering who did the planning, genre selection and speaker installation. And now he’s that guy.

What’s the most difficult installation you’ve ever done?

Every project has its own challenges.  Stores with multiple levels are difficult as you first need to locate the cable rooting, which can be hard in an old store.  Westville Pavilion in Durban is the perfect example of a store where the data room is in the basement, which requires a lot of cabling.

You do audio installation for the Woolworths group. Their stores generally have several sections. Are some areas easier than others, and why?

Yes, I definitely prefer the food market and Café areas.  Textiles have a ceiling grid with delicate, expensive boards that need to be removed before working inside the roof.  The food market is usually an open roof layout with cable trunking across the store. It’s much easier to mount speakers when you can run cable inside the trunking.

Do you ever have the store to yourself to do a sound check before opening?

No,  which is why planning and making sure every corner is covered with sound is so important.

Most of the stores have the same type of construction but the layout will be different.  We already have a good formula and know what type of equipment works best.

What speakers do you use? 

We generally use Bosch ceiling speakers in the textiles section and DSPPA wall-mount speakers in the food market section.

How do you keep the sound in different sections from competing? 

Each zone – food court, café and textiles – has its own amplifier and media player, to control the volume and playlist of each zone separately.

How long does it take to do the audio installation of a large store? And how many speakers do you use per square meter?

It usually takes four days. Two days to install each zone’s speakers, with the amplifiers and media players. And two days to run the cabling and wire the speakers. In a food market with 10 aisles, every aisle will have a speaker at each end. In textiles we’ll place parallel speakers every six to seven meters.

 

 

 

Sensory Shopping

FDM’s General Manager and super shopper, Dalene Haugh, rates her favourite stores and why she’ll always go back for more.

“It’s my favourite thing,” whispers Dalene in the confessional tone of a Shopaholics Anonymous meeting. With two decades of experience in retail, including a number of years at the Martha Stewart Organization, Dalene appreciates the multi-sensory satisfaction of a thoughtfully curated store. “I was really inspired by how Martha transformed everyday living and entertaining into a modern, practical art form by valuing order, aesthetics and styling.”

Anthropologie

Dalene’s number one is an American lifestyle brand aimed at creative, educated and affluent women aged 30 to 45 years. “For me, shopping at Anthropologie is undeniably the most unique retail experience. It was a regular weekend highlight while living in Pasadena, California. The mood lighting, divine scented candles, dreamy music – Diamonds are Forever always comes to mind – and handcrafted artworks throughout give the space an overwhelmingly homey feel.” Everything about Anthropologie’s stores is meticulously calculated.  Anthro’ is super focused on its retail settings and the sensory components that attract legions of dedicated shoppers.

Trader Joes

Grocery shopping is fun at this laid-back US supermarket that originated in California. They create an emotionally connected experience by empowering staff to go the extra mile to make customers feel appreciated. “If you are curious about a product, the staff will let you try it. They are highly trained, friendly and knowledgeable about every product in their store,” says Dalene.

Made.com

It started as an e-commerce company that sold original furniture design at affordable prices. The company has subsequently opened showrooms across the UK and expanded to Europe, offering an engaging and seamless in-store shopper experience.  Customers are encouraged to get tactile with fabrics and finishes and personal style advice is available on request. Large tablets are scattered throughout the store, allowing shoppers to search and buy products as well as browse the brand’s social media feeds.

Ralph Lauren

This iconic brand’s flagship store on 72nd and Madison in New York city is spectacular. It’s glamorous for everyone, not just the rich and famous.  “Whenever I visit New York, I make a point of visiting this store even if I can’t always afford to buy something.” Walking into the revived Neo-Renaissance mansion is like stepping into a fairy tale. “From the lavish window displays to being ushered down the long awning toward the main hall, outfitted in mahogany with intricate moldings and ceilings, and the glamorous staircase that transports you into a world that feels part British clubhouse, part country estate.”

David Jones

The beautiful 12-floor department store in Sydney brings fashion, food, home and beauty together in an immersive retail experience. The recently refurbished flagship store features a floor dedicated to luxury footwear, with 85 unique brands and a shoe concierge to greet and guide customers to the appropriate area. The store’s multinational service team offers service in 19 languages. David Jones conducted a global recruitment drive to hire 50 specialists fitters, some of whom have worked for brands including Dior and Celine. Kudos to Nicholas Criticos, Head of Store Design at David Jones Australia, who played an integral part in the reimagining and transformation of this glamorous department store.

G-Star Raw

Shopping at G-Star Raw in Amsterdam is a memorable and fun experience. Besides the modern industrial shelving, high ceilings and great music, you’re welcomed with a glass of champagne by staff who make you feel special the moment you walk into the store. “Since I almost always have to get my jeans shortened, I love that they tailor the jeans for you right away. And rather than kill time elsewhere, I was happy to sip on my champagne, browse and continue to shop.”

Street Style FOMO

Cologne is known to have the best-loved shopping streets in Germany. “When Nigel (FDM’s CEO) and I went to Euroshop, the biggest retail expo held in Dusseldorf every three years, we stayed in Cologne. Although I can’t pinpoint a particular store, we loved the street shopping scene. I am terribly disappointed that we never went to Globetrotter, winner of the European design award at Europshop 2008.

 

Six Essentials For Happy Shopping

  • Beautiful, brand-appropriate architecture and store design.
  • Stage merchandise by creating a magical setting for it.
  • Focus on sensory components – touch, aroma, sound, lighting, temperature.
  • Staff that truly connect with customers.
  • Digital technology as an integral part of the customer journey.
  • Good old-fashioned hospitality. Give them a smile, a glass of champagne, or a seat when they’re tired.

TOP TIPS FOR RETAIL AUDIO: THE DO’S AND DONT’S OF SOUND BRANDING

The Do’s and Don’ts of Sound Branding

Brands invest heavily in their visual appeal. But when it comes to in-store audio, your brand’s music is its voice. As Content Manager at Future Dimensions Media, Jason Stoffberg is responsible for some of the most successful retail soundscapes in Africa. He talks us through the do’s and don’ts of making a brand audibly awesome.

5 Point Audio Assessment

  • Consider the business type and the product or service it provides.
  • The brand’s core values must align with its sound – elegant and classic, or trendy and boundary-pushing?
  • Determine the desired function of sound in the retail space.
  • Set the volume – loud and expressive, or soft and discreet?
  • Install the appropriate hardware (speakers, amplifiers etc.) for the space and sound requirements.

5 Top Tricks

  • Music tempo affects the time customers spend instore. Faster music moves them along more quickly, while slower music encourages shoppers to linger longer.
  • Music has an impact on customers’ perceived time spent instore. Top 40 titles add to the length of perceived time, while unfamiliar songs result in a shorter perceived time instore.
  • Music impacts purchasing decisions. Studies have shown that playing classical music results in customers purchasing different products, compared to when top 40 music is played.
  • Music acts as a trigger for brand association.
  • Music is used to drown out grey noise, thereby enhancing the shopping experience. Ever noticed that audio in the food section is louder to compensate for refrigeration?

3  Playlist No-No’s

  • Avoid top 40 playlists.
  • Avoid titles with explicit lyrics, even if the brand is not overtly family orientated.
  • Avoid titles with sensitive lyrics. Lyrics that may be perfectly acceptable to most listeners could offend a more sensitive or conservative segment of society.

Top Retail Audio Trends

  • The trend is towards customised playlists. Retailers are realising that generic playlists do not support their branding strategies.
  • Carefully curated playlists have a significant positive impact on customer experience and purchasing patterns.
  • There is a shift from single genre playlists to playlists spanning multiple genres. Done correctly, this creates unique soundscapes that are easily identifiable with a brand.

J’S THUMBS UP

“Carefully considered speaker layout, investment in good quality sound and a well-curated playlist says a lot about the attention to detail a brand gives to its customers and their instore experience.”

J’S THUMBS DOWN

“It’s a complete turn-off when a brand invests in lighting, store layout, menu design, customer service etc, without an equivalent investment in the audio environment. Inferior sound quality and poorly curated playlists can ruin the entire experience.”

ON-TREND & IN-STORE

On-Trend & In-Store

Top Trends for Retail Audio in 2019

By Future Dimensions Media, in-store audio & visual solutions specialists

Knowing the sound of your brand is important. Keeping a finger on the pulse is essential. Top music trends in 2019 predict greater inclusivity, diversity and a definite shift towards local-is-lekker.

3 Top Music Trends in 2019:

  • Merging Musical Styles and Regional Artists

Thanks to online music streaming platforms, regional artists from around the world are basking in the spotlight of the mainstream music industry. With no geographical and societal boundaries, artists are free to merge different musical styles, and the world loves it.

  • Out Of The Box

Great music is great music. Music has always been a unifying force and with so much to choose from, excellence by a performer in any genre can find an appreciative audience. A beautiful voice or irresistible rhythm knows no gender or race. It’s time to move on from “she’s a great female vocalist” to “what a great singer”. Let’s thank Queen Bey (in part) for this fierce move forward.

  • Homies Go Global

It’s a big world out there. That used to be dominated by popular music from the UK and the USA. With the internet, huge hits from lesser known regions are gaining global traction. Not “world music” in the 80s sense of the word, but popular hits from around the world. Musicians no longer have to make it big in the traditional music centres to reach a global audience. From Cape Town to Caracas, a new generation of stars are popping onto playlists everywhere. Experimenting, collaborating, forging bonds. Despacito isn’t the best example…but you’ve certainly heard of it.

Play Nice

FDM considers gender, ethnicity, age and religion when compiling playlists for Woolworths (Pty) Ltd in South Africa and in other African countries. In some areas a Christmas playlist is not appropriate in December. And yes, we may throw in a little Justin Timberlake and George Ezra to keep the kids happy. Remakes of golden oldies always work for older shoppers and put a contemporary spin on the nostalgia.

Refresh & Reload

Our dedicated DJ updates playlists on a monthly basis. Here are examples of how clients’ playlists have adapted in recent months.

Woolworths Foods: Their adult contemporary mix includes upbeat soul, jazz, funk, pop and popular hits from various eras. Artists featured include James Brown, Nina Simone, Aretha Franklin, Jamiroquai, Pharrell Williams, Bruno Mars and Justin Timberlake.

RE JEANS: A big shift from 90% rock and indie, to 50% rock and indie and 50% modern, lesser-known titles from various genres. The playlist targets musically savvy, culturally connected listeners and reflects the non-mainstream feel of the RE Jeans brand.

Now Now: Content shifted away from Jamie xx-type electronics to a mix of modern electronic, R&B and less mainstream pop. Now Now’s playlist features South African electronic and dance titles by Black Coffee, Jullian Gomes, Kid Fonque, Erefaan Pearce, Da Capo and Jazzuelle.

Sweet Orr: Previously 100% rock and indie, the playlist now features 50% rock and indie, 25% modern electronic and pop, and 25% number 1 hits from various genres and eras.

MUSIC TRENDS FOR 2018. WHERE TO NOW?

If we all had a crystal ball and knew the answer to the question we’d all be richer than Simon Cowell and like him or loathe him he is one of the key individuals who control the direction of popular music tastes on this planet and just maybe a few others too!
Because of the phenomena of streaming (Spotify is listing on stock exchanges as I write, worth around US$23 Billion), social media and YouTube access to pop is increasing every day, maybe even by the hour and although most of us have to buy our tunes there are sadly a lot of pirates out there as well. And Spotify launched in RSA this week as well.

The gurus at such publications as Rolling Stone, Billboard, Time and NME are calling where they think it’s all going in 2018. And as usual there’s a marked difference between the UK, Europe, the USA and the rest.

Looking for true talent has become an industry on its own. Think Idols, the Voice, Shine etc. etc. Can Rag and Bone Man really be the name of a new music star? You betcha and the Brits are touting him as one of the next big things.

Latin music is making waves again too and the biggest selling song of all time “Despacito” is rockin’ the clubs and music radio right across the planet. It has had nearly 5 billion hits on You Tube and many of us don’t understand a word!

Whilst Uncle Simon rules, boy bands will continue to grow like mushrooms. This year’s version of Back Street Boys and One Direction will see Why Don’t We, Pretty Much, BTS, Brockhampton and the Latin version CNCO. Their smash “Mamita” has already had 1 million hits on You Tube! Look out too for other Latin break outs from Camila Cabello, DJ Khaled who channels Santana and the return of Shakira, J.Lo and Maluma. Shakira and Maluma’s vid cracked over 2 billion hits!! And J.Lo is worth around US $360 million……that’s no petty cash!

Talking about the ladies look out for Willow daughter of Will and Jada Smith, apart from that pedigree the girl can sing as proven on her smash hit “Why Don’t You Cry”. She’s only 14 years old and has had over 7 million hits on You Tube for this song of teenage angst.
One of the more bizarre claims to stardom comes in the form of K-Pop sensation BTS.

K-Pop? Stands for Korean Pop and along with bands like Shinee, EXO and Seventeen, BTS has sold over 5 million albums, has 30million followers on social media and was the first Korean group to crack Spotify’s Global Top 50. Their mix of Korean and English lyrics, electro backing tracks, coupled with a very slick dance routine and boyish good looks has struck a major chord with teen fans the world over.

EDM is also set for bigger things during the current year. Electronic Dance Music packs out the dance clubs everywhere and the names to get those fingers snappin’ and toes tappin’ include Steve Aoki, Zedd, Martin Garrix and Dave Guetta. The sounds are a mix of great rhythms and synth overlays backing up some pretty cool vocal effects.

The next big thing for this year must be the return of Justin Timberlake who’s new album “Man of the Woods” featuring a live dancing robot on the first single from it “Filthy”, is a very clever visual tour de force and a low key live performance from this star who first rose to fame in the late ‘90’s. The album hit number 1 within a week of its early February release.

And finally let’s hear it for World Cup anthems. Providing Spy Poisoning or any other catastrophes don’t derail it this year sees another Soccer World Cup. This time in mother Russia. No doubt it will spawn the usual crop of songs dedicated to the round ball and the teams that compete for it. Watch this space!! Hasta la vista!

Mike on then Mic.

WHAT’S UP WITH THE GRAMMYS?

So this year’s Grammys have come and gone. Only one woman in the awards list and that was newcomer Alessia Cara and for my money the best performance of the night was Pink although Sting showed that he still cuts a mean groove. Bruno Mars swept the boards with the 4 big awards; Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best R&B Song of the Year all driven by his album “24K Magic”. Many music critics seemed less than pleased with these results feeling that Kendrick Lamar should have got more recognition. Lamar bagged 2 awards for best Rap Album “Damn” and best Rap Song “Humble”.

I am not quite sure what all the fuss is over the host James Corden who obviously has a great agent as he seems to be everywhere on American TV. He hosts The Late Late Show and has been the presenter at numerous awards evenings. He came to fame in “Gavin & Stacey” a Brit comedy TV series. Surely there are celebs with more stature and gravitas than he? Sorry I don’t get it!

From a music aspect there was little to make 2017 memorable although the super energetic Latin hit ‘Despasito’ by Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee apparently had over 1 billion hits on You Tube when first released. That is very impressive. It’s a catchy song with gorgeous girls and boys bumping and grinding their way throughout. Apparently it means something in the region of “Take it Slowly” and the lyrics seem fairly explicit but perhaps only to this conservative mind. I am sure the Latinos are quite comfortable with it!

It occurs to me that it must be increasingly difficult to judge the music of our times as it has become so diverse. Rap, House and Hip-Hop are quite difficult to relate to as they lack melody which has always been important to my ear. However the rhythm and lyrics are often compulsive and clever so I can see where the appreciation of the fans comes from. I guess it’s a little like in my teens the older generation could not understand why we loved the Beatles and the Stones. Each generation deserves its own music genre.

Earlier I mentioned the performance by Pink. She sang her song “Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken” a great song and a stunning performance. This lady can sing!! She brought the house down.

Apparently this awards event lasts for a very long time and all we see is a very cut down 2 hour edited version. The actual event lasts over 6 hours. The audience should get an award for patience. This year is its 60th year and many in the industry feel that these awards mean very little. I can’t say that I agree with that. The Grammys may not impact directly on sales of music but they do provide prestige and credibility and I am sure that artists, composers and producers benefit from being able to include a Grammy in their CV’s.

Despite what I or anyone else thinks the Grammys still have international impact. 19.8 million viewers tuned in to the 2018 show, admittedly down 20% on the 2017 version, but that’s still a significant audience and if the organisers indulge in some innovation and get a host who has a wider appeal then the show will go on!

Mike on the Mic.

IN HONOUR OF BRIAN WILSON

It might have been true that the 60’s music scene was dominated by Brit Pop and the so called British invasion but there was a group of California boys creating their own special magic and they owed most of their success to an enigmatic genius called Brian Wilson.
Born in California in 1942, Brian Wilson formed the Beach Boys in 1961 and had a long string of hit singles and albums, helping to establish the “California sound” along the way. By the mid-60s, however, Wilson looked to move beyond the cheery, simple, teen-based formula that characterized much of the Beach Boys’ early music. The result was 1966’s Pet Sounds, which is ranked by many as one of the greatest albums of all time. But at the peak of his creative powers, substance abuse and mental illness took their toll on Wilson, who for much of the next 25 years lived in seclusion. After breaking free from psychologist Eugene Landy, who exerted an excessive amount of control over Wilson’s life during the 1980s, Wilson revived his career and released several solo albums in the 1990s. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988, remarried in 1995 and was honoured by the Kennedy Centre in 2007 for lifetime contribution to the performing arts. Since that time he has continued to tour and record albums and was also the subject of the 2014 biopic Love & Mercy.
In my book this man almost single handedly changed the face of pop music with some evergreen classics like California Girls, God Only Knows, Wouldn’t It be Nice, Kokomo and many others. We still listen to these songs today and marvel at the layered harmonies, the wonderful production techniques and sheer musicality of the work.
His more recent work might be somewhat less accessible but that doesn’t take away from the brilliance of the music. But by the mid-60s, Brian Wilson had begun to experiment musically, conceptually and chemically, and he sought to push the group’s sound beyond the light and accessible sun-and-fun formula that characterized its early music. By late 1964, he had quit touring with the Beach Boys, due in part to a nervous breakdown he had suffered on the road, and he used his time at home to begin work on the band’s next album. Initially inspired by the Beatles’ Rubber Soul (1965), Wilson’s goal was to create an album where “every song mattered” and that would “make people feel loved.” After collaborating with his friend Tony Asher on the lyrics, and writing and arranging the music almost entirely on his own, Wilson then employed the famous session group known as the Wrecking Crew to commit his vision to tape.
The result was Pet Sounds an iconic album ranking with the Beatles Sgt. Peppers and the Stones Sympathy for the Devil as collections that changed pop music forever. Do yourself a big favour and hunt out this man’s music on the internet, It will open your mind.

IS MUSIC AN IMPORTANT PART OF OUR LIVES?

The origins of music date from the earliest civilizations of the world who tried to imitate the sounds of the nature and soon realised that there was a pattern to various sounds made by the animal and bird kingdom. It was also means of communication. The earliest form would have been in Africa where the use of drums, rhythms and simple melodies are now lost in the mists of time itself.

A lot of people say that music reflects the kind of person you are. Is it true?

There are a lot of styles of music in the world, even in one country there are many genres. In Latin America and Africa, the music is often very cheerful and rhythmic while in Europe it is more sedate and gentle.

Music is considered as an intangible cultural heritage in all its variety and complexity.
This means that music is one of the most mystical expressions of humanity because it is capable of transmitting feelings and thoughts. It connects.
Music is one of the most important elements of culture because it helps us to understand the evolution of society.

Identity can be matched with the kind of music you are listening to, because some people express that they are calm, quiet or reserved. They prefer listening to classical music, otherwise they might be extrovert or feel depressed without it.
But science says you can feel whatever you want to feel with the music you most like. 

Can music show your identity? Not really because music reflects a mood and you are likely to enjoy more melancholy melodies when feeling depressed and much jollier tones when you are excited and happy. Having said that different styles of music can help identify you from a cultural perspective. Jazz and blues are great examples of this although you certainly don’t have to be an African American to identify with these two styles. There are many excellent exponents from many different race groups and many fans from across the globe. Music has the ability to unite. That’s pretty unique.

In the modern world with our sophisticated communications it is possible to listen to music from any culture anywhere on the planet. Not all of it will appeal but much of it will contain elements that we like.

The truth is that music is the universal language and can connect even the most disparate of cultures. As with all humanity try to find the good in it and your enjoyment will be multiplied 100-fold.

Seasons’ greetings and be blessed in all you do.

SENSITIVE HEARING

I was very interested to read about a group of individuals in this country who have started a Noise Pollution “crusade” against restaurants and stores that play their music at high volumes. It got me to thinking how difficult it is to please all of the people all of the time.

The efficiency of the sensory organs—vision, hearing, taste, smell, and touch—declines with age, but the age of onset and rate of decline differ markedly among people. What is it like to hear only a mumbling voice when someone speaks to you? How does it feel when loud noises hurt your ears? The senses become less efficient with age. But age is not the only factor causing deterioration in the senses. Disease and environmental factors are also important. Intense and prolonged noise affects hearing, smoking reduces taste and smell sensitivity, and diabetes may affect vision. Sensory changes can influence the way we see, hear, taste, smell, and respond to touch and pain. This in turn affects how we experience the world and react to things. A significant sensory change can rob us of many simple pleasures and complicate the tasks of daily living. It may mean reduced mobility, increased dependence on others, inaccurate perception of the environment, reduced ability to communicate and socialize, or loss of self-esteem. Sensory changes vary from person to person. Fortunately, until their mid-80s most older adults are free from major sensory problems. If you experience sensory changes as you age, understanding these changes can help you respond effectively.

A hearing loss is potentially the most serious of the sensory impairments because it is our “social sense.” Unlike poor vision, hearing loss rarely inspires empathy and understanding. The seeing eye dog, thick glasses, and white cane all help identify the blind and visually impaired, but the person who is hard of hearing is not as easily identified. In regard to her deafness, Helen Keller, who was both deaf and blind, stated: “I am just as deaf as I am blind. The problems of deafness are deeper and more complex, if not more important than those of blindness. Deafness is a much worse misfortune. For it means the loss of the most vital stimulus—the sound of the voice that brings language, sets thoughts astir, and keeps us in the intellectual company of man.” Hearing loss affects more older people than any other chronic condition. From age 20 to 60, the rate of hearing impairments increases from 10 to 75 per 1,000 people. Between the ages of 60 and 80, the rate increases to 250 per 1,000 people. Approximately 30 to 50 percent of all older people suffer a significant hearing loss that affects their communication and relationships with others. Hearing loss can be devastating. It can lead to withdrawal, isolation, and depression. Even a slight loss can be emotionally upsetting, particularly if it interferes with understanding family and friends. Trying to understand conversation becomes frustrating and exhausting. Many people will withdraw from group situations, restrict their activities, and stay at home when it becomes difficult to listen and understand the conversation around them. Misunderstood conversations can lead to suspiciousness, paranoia, disagreements, and alienation from family and friends. Older people who try to cope by responding to what they think is said may be viewed as cognitively impaired, rather than hearing impaired. “Silence is golden. But the silence that comes from a hearing loss can make for loneliness.”

As management of restaurants or stores it is incumbent on you and your staff to be sensitive to your customers’ needs. If they complain about music levels react and turn down the volume, but be gentle. A 10 percentile reduction is usually enough and see if you can tailor some of the content to make it age appropriate.

I spent most of my life wearing headphones in studios. My hearing is still good, but not perfect. Loud music does make me uncomfortable but then I don’t do much clubbing these days!!!

A good rule of thumb is “listen to your clients”. Mother Grundies please stay at home!

USING STORE MUSIC FOR RETAIL ZONING

What is In-Store Music? It is many things to many people. Some want the bland concept of what is commonly referred to as “lift music”. Some want some kind of radio station with DJ, ads, messages and a continuous bombardment of somewhat useless information and yet others prefer a more focussed brand complementary selection aimed at pushing all the right buttons with customer and staff alike.
Done correctly and professionally it is quite a science and even an art form. Creating a sound scape that gets a positive response on the shop floor takes research, understanding and musical knowledge.
It’s obvious that playing Death Metal is not going to work in a retail environment where the customer demographic is the 40+ age group. Nor is playing Mozart and Bach going to appeal when you are trying to purvey skinny jeans.
The point here is you need to understand who the customer is and tailor the music accordingly. Good music played over decent quality equipment will sound wonderful. Not played at a level that you can barely hear but made loud enough to lift the spirits.
Very few retailers create different moods for different areas of their store. In my view that is vital. If you are a store selling a mixture of foods and wine, fashion and homeware and also have perhaps an eating area like a restaurant, these are 3 distinct stores within a store. Each needs to have music suited to its focus. I have found that creating a playlist that contains modern pop along with a smattering of blasts from the past is an excellent way to create the right atmosphere for the fashion, homeware and clothing departments. Foods could include some French, Italian and Greek tunes to blend in with other songs that relate to the food experience. In a restaurant or café environment cool jazz is a great accompaniment to the meal and remember that people generally like to interact with their companions so be sensitive to that by the keeping the volume at a slightly more confidential level.
One can even take it further. A fine wine or expensive gift emporium, even an exclusive book seller would be pleasant to spend time in if they were playing a selection of the light classics to assist in promoting the right mood. Not perhaps the heavyweights like Wagner and Beethoven but the lighter works of Mozart, Bach, Brahms and Schubert.
And do try to set yourselves apart from your opposition. Get your music management team to work with you suppliers creating the right music for your brand. This can lead to other opportunities like putting your play lists on-line for downloading or releasing it as a CD.
Finally make sure you are compliant with the necessary music copyright bodies. In this country there is SAMRO who looks after the rights of public performance of composers, SAMPRA who protect the rights of the record companies and their trade – marks and CAPASSO the new kids on the block, who look after the rights of the artists.
If you would like to ask questions, please see our email addresses elsewhere on this site.
Have a very splendid August.