ACoustiC design And Control in 21st Century retAil environments
A vast number of companies operate in retail spacesin high streets, shopping malls, out of town retail parks,mixed-use complexes and airports. While their inventories vary from fashion to furniture to food, retailers usually have one thing in common; they are passionate aboutmaking their outlets the stand-out destinations wherepeople love to shop.
So how do retailers create that customer-compelling uniqueness?Many invest heavily in the physical design, t-out and reurbishmento their stores. They also need to address the reality that attractingthe online-savvy 21st century shopper over the threshold is becomingincreasingly complex.With the continuing rise o online shopping and a shit in customerexpectations o what the store experience should be, retailers arending they need to oer a more multi-sensory experienceto shoppers.
While visual aesthetics are usually the priority, acoustics andsound, particularly music, plays a crucial and integral part inthe creation o this retail experience.
So retailers turn to the power o acoustics to create their audio logo,reinorce their brand, keep customers in-store longer, infuence salesand even motivate shop-foor employees.It all seems so easy. However,compared to other, usuallymore visual, aspects o design,ar less consideration is givento how this music, or any otherstore-generated sounds, arelikely to be received or heardby customers, as well as theireects on shop sta. And that’swhere retailers can becomeunstuck as it’s not only musicthat makes up the sound o theretail experience. Other store-generated sounds are likely tobe unwanted and may include rerigerators, ventilation plant andelectrical equipment.This paper will address the need or acoustic control in the designo retail outlets and how a comortable aural experience might beachieved to help increase customer dwell times.
Store-generated sounds are likely to be unwanted
Sound expertand Chairman o The SoundAgency
Most retail sound is inappropriate,accidental and evenhostile and has adramatic eect onsales.
The University o Hudderseld
Music plays an important role in consumerism, not just the multi-million pound industry it represents inits own right, but the increasing use o it in shops,bars, and restaurants, where it is intended to havebenecial eects on customers and their likelihood to spend. Consumer behaviour does appear to bemanipulated and infuenced by the presence o music. This is a recognised nding in early researchin the area and has become an established “known” in the retail trade.