Valdosta Daily Times

Business

July 15, 2012

What’s with all the noise?

VALDOSTA — A reader called in a rant this week about the loud music in retail stores. The rant said it needs to be turned down so customers can shop. Amen!

Incredibly loud music is one of my pet peeves, and this is coming from someone who has blown speakers in at least 3 vehicles over the years, so I obviously have no issue with the volume, it’s the venue.

I’m gonna pick on a national retailer that I think is by far the worst offender, and I hope their google search catches on their name and maybe someone in their corporate office will read this. Also, they don’t have a local store so I won’t be hurting anyone’s feelings that I might know.

Ready? Abercrombie & Fitch. I have a teenage daughter, and this used to be a great place to shop for trendy clothes for a fashion-conscious teen. However, neither of us can stand to be in the store anymore long enough to buy anything. Not only is the music so incredibly loud that she and I were shouting with just a dressing room door between us and we couldn’t hear each other, but they also spray their perfumes and colognes all around the store and on the clothes. Being allergic to many fragrances, and wanting to be able to have a conversation as simple as “how does that look? Does it fit?,’ the store is not conducive to a pleasant shopping experience. Shopping with a teenager is stressful enough without adding jet engine decibel level music in the mix.

A few local stores do the same thing, and I asked one of the store’s managers once why they felt the music had to be so loud. The answer was that the kids like it. Great, I’m sure some do, but since when do 12-year-olds support themselves? The people paying are the mothers, not the kids, so maybe stores should cater to the one with the money. Excellent concept, but not practiced often enough.

Retailers blame their woes on the economy but all too often, it’s ridiculous marketing strategies that drive their customers away and their sales down. People go where they feel comfortable and they spend their money accordingly. And teens shop where their parents will pay for it.

So in other words, turn the music down and you might see your sales go up!

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