If you are a regular mall shopper like us, you may have noticed that the Christmas and Holiday season has already descended upon us. Halloween Candy doesn’t even get a discounted day anymore as literally employees at our local Shoppers Drug Mart were taking the Halloween decorations down and putting Chrismas Decorations up at 8:00 pm on October 31st. The famous 100 Ft tall Christmas tree at CF Eaton Centre is set to be unveiled in two weeks, and it’s looking likely that mall Santas will start to show up before there is even snow on the ground this year.
Now, we love Christmas and the holiday spirit as much as the rest of you, but do we actually need 1.5 months of Christmas music? The truth behind the early jump on Christmas isn’t because people and stores can’t contain their holiday spirit, it’s real because the holiday season is one of the biggest commerce seasons and people want to sell you stuff.
The truth is is that Christmas music and decorations encourage you to buy and spend more. It’s a constant reminder of our loved ones and the things we need to buy them. This isn’t simply anecdotal, there have been some scientific studies that Christmas music not only encourages shopping but customers actually like it. A UK study revealed that 95% of customers prefer to do their Christmas shopping with in-store-music. Furthermore out of the 95% of people that said they prefer to shop with Christmas music four out of 10 claimed they would go to a different store if the store they were shopping in wasn’t playing in-store music. The findings go on to reveal that 1 in 4 people actually think they buy more or are more generous with their gifts when they hear Christmas music. What does this all mean? Well, essentially holiday and Christmas music entices you to part with your money.
In a separate study done by Dr Alan Bradshaw from the University of London discovered that from a business perspective Christmas music is gold. He states that when customers hear Christmas music they actually give part of their attention to the song, removing some of the focus from the shopping task at hand. This causes shoppers to be less resistant to sales techniques and are usually a little more careless with their spending.
So not to put a bummer on Christmas music and decorations, but you should know while they are nice and make you feel all warm and fuzzy at the end of the day while everyone loves the holidays, the reality is this equation. Music + decorations = overspending.
To get you in the mood here’s the Holiday song that everyone loves to hate.