Filippa K is a successful Scandinavian clothing retailer with more than 30 stores across Europe. The study examined the effect on sales when employees could change the energy level and volume of songs. It involved eight stores and ran for 56 weeks. In four stores, the playlists and volume were chosen by Filippa K management, and aligned with its four brand characteristics: exclusive, elegant, innovative, and expressive. In the other four stores, staff could choose between two playlists that differed only in the intensity of the music. One was the medium-energy playlist that better conveyed the desired elegance, and the other was a high-intensity playlist. Staff were also able to skip songs and change the volume as they pleased.
While employees preferred more-intense music at higher volume, this didn’t fit the brand and situation, and it hurt sales. This argues for centralized control of the music.
Scheduling the right music ahead of time allowed staff to focus on the customers…instead of driving them away.