Quiet shopping days

27Dec11

In the limited subset of stores and restaurants that I visited during the holidays, the Christmas music was anything but subtle. Every year, it seems, the music gets louder, and the selection of songs gets narrower. For whatever reason, the powers that be have decided that customers respond best to loud, repetitive holiday music.

This raises an interesting question: if the overall consumer environment during the holidays is becoming increasingly polarizing, why don’t retailers start designating a few “quiet” shopping days during the holiday season? On those dates, the Christmas music would be turned way down or replaced with non-holiday fare. And to make this a low-risk endeavor, they could test the quiet shopping day concept during a few of the traditionally weaker days on the calendar, with the promotional campaign limited to specific marketing channels.

For a certain subset of customers, the opportunity to shop and dine in relative peace would be a very attractive proposition. And for the businesses that allocate a few days towards making those customers happy, the incremental revenues should more than compensate for the perceived risk of deviating from the usual holiday soundtrack.



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