How to Use Christmas Music in a Retail Store? Avoid Overwhelming Your Employees

Christmas is around the corner, and there is that one song that is stuck in our heads already; “Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle all the way..”

It is no surprise that businesses use music to entertain customers not only during the Holiday season but the entire year. As discussed in our previous articles, brand-fitting background music for business helps with brand recognition and increased sales. It is no different during the holiday season. The music reflects the season’s joy in retail shops, restaurants, and bars, making people happier while they shop or dine. The happier the customers, the more money they spend. Since everyone is probably wondering what Christmas music has to do with revenue, first, here are some facts about streaming music for business.

Why do retailers use background music in business establishments?

It’s about the money. But let’s go into more detail. 

We all know that music sets the mood, whether we’re driving in the car or at home listening to a playlist while cooking. On the other hand, ambient music is so common in retail shops or shopping malls that we rarely notice it. But the fact that shoppers aren’t paying too much attention to music doesn’t mean retailers don’t use it as a way to increase sales.


Researchers have conducted many studies at grocery stores over the years to understand how shoppers react to different volumes, tempos, and modes of background music. However, several of these researchers pointed out that not all strategies are applicable everywhere. Some methods work in one store but not in another.


Music plays a fundamental role in influencing shoppers’ mood and sense of atmosphere in a shop. The most significant effect of ambient music on shoppers has to do with its pace or tempo. Fast-paced music encourages shoppers to browse the store faster. By doing so, they are less likely to make impulsive purchases or notice all the items available on the shelves. The opposite effect of slow-tempo music is that it slows down shoppers and makes them spend more while shopping. Consequently, the supermarket earns a significant increase in daily profits just by playing slower background music within the store.


According to the studies, the musical genre playing in the store affected the sales; however, the exact cause of the behavior is not known. Contrary to the music’s tempo and mode, which influenced sales volume, the music’s genre influenced the quality than the quantity. Rather than buying more of less expensive products, the customers spent more money on expensive items when Classical music was playing. It all sounds very scientific, but it’s true. And now back to Christmas music.


retail store background music

The scent only works with music – striking research suggests.

One study examined a multitude of scenarios in a mock-up shop. In one shop, they played Christmas music; on another, they diffused Christmas scent. On the third one, they combined the Holiday music and the scent. Shoppers’ behavior was negatively affected by the smell alone, according to researchers. Researchers created a more coherent experience by combining the scent and the Holiday music. On the latter one, shoppers’ reaction was more positive. Based on these results, it seems that music can reinforce a message and emphasize the influence of the overall shopping experience on customer behavior.

As you can see, the intended use of background music in retail stores is a scientifically proven fact. On the other hand, Christmas music is still not purposefully used in many shops. As a result, it affects the sales negatively at those businesses.

The Employees and the Holiday Music 

When it comes to Christmas background music, we should not only think about our customers. During the Holiday season, employees usually work overtime and listen to the same music for long hours and days. It may not seem like a problem, but it is! And sadly, few store owners realize the negative effect of it on their employees. 

Psychologists contend that retail workers suffer the most because they listen to the same music all day long. Christmas music may remind people who work in the retail of a hectic shopping time of year, and hearing the same set of songs over and over again can be stressful and demotivating. According to a study, the lack of variety in Christmas music is also frustrating for the employees. Unfortunately, stores usually play only a handful of popular Holiday songs, and hearing the same songs over a six to eight-week period is challenging and overwhelming for many. 

A standard CD with 16 tracks on a loop will create repetition; as a result, both your customers and staff members will complain. Since your employees are too busy to change the music, the same songs will play in a loop for weeks. Sadly, many stores still use CDs or a single Spotify playlist during this time. It is also not legal to play a CD or any personal use music service at your business. The US Copyright Law requires all companies to obtain a license to play background music in a business establishment.

However, the alternative is commercially licensed to play in your business. It will offer more diverse music, ensuring that both your customers and staff are satisfied with the Christmas music at your business. 

Bonus: A Guide to Playing Music in Your Business: From Beginner to Pro. Click here

holiday music provider

How to avoid overwhelming your employees?

We suggest combining non- Christmas music with Holiday music during this season. Additionally, it would be a good idea to mix different Christmas music genres rather than the “usual” Christmas music you hear everywhere. By doing so, you can create a unique Christmas soundtrack for business. However, before mixing different genres, please consider your target audience. It may not be wise to stream Jazz Christmas music at a store where Country music lovers frequent. 

Bonus Read: Christmas Music for Business

With Jukeboxy, retailers can mix multiple playlists in a day-part box and create an eclectic and fun Holiday music experience. Using Jukeboxy’s online dashboard, you can configure a weekly auto-play schedule by day-part from your computer’s web browser from the comfort of your home. With over 350 playlists and 20+ Christmas music playlists in different genres and tempos, your business can play music for long periods without being repetitive and outdated.

christmas music for retail store

The Bottom Line

Music is no longer a background element; it is now an integral part of a retailer’s identity which meant to attract the type of customer the store wants. The music not only sets the mood but also conjures up your emotions. The impact of background music on consumer behavior has economic potential for businesses.

Businesses should not play music only to retain customers, but they should also think about their employees’ well-being and motivation. As we always say, “happy employees, happy customers.”

Be unique with your Holiday music selection this year. After all, we all hear the same Christmas music at every store we visit. When you combine multiple playlists and create the ultimate Holiday soundtrack for your business, your customers will recognize the difference and have a better experience at your store. Both your customers and staff will be grateful.

Try Jukeboxy and provide background music for your customers and staff this holiday season that will make them happy to come into your store.