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Business News (more headlines) 02-01-2014

New Research Into The Travel Sector Highlights The Benefits Of Playing Music In Businesses

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As the trend for online shopping continues to rise, PPL has conducted research into the travel sector to understand how playing in-store music can help to enhance the overall customer experience, as well as influencing purchasing behaviour, staff productivity and sales.

Working with research agency RED, a nationwide poll of over 2,000 staff and customers of a leading high street travel brand was conducted - revealing some interesting results:

* An incredible 99% of staff agreed that customers would be happier if music was played in-store.
* 98% felt that music would encourage them to be more productive, motivated and lifted the mood of all staff members at work.
* Regarding retail stores in general, 99% of staff also said they think stores that play music tend to be more modern and appealing places to shop.

From a customer perspective:

* 66% agreed that music can remove any awkward silences when shopping for a holiday.
* 76% admitted they felt more relaxed shopping in retail stores that play in-store music.
* 54% even went as far as to say that shopping in a store that plays music would put them in a holiday mood and increase their likeliness of purchasing a holiday vs a store that does not play music.

The value and appreciation for original artist music was also made clear - with 88% of staff surveyed stating that they would prefer to work in stores playing recorded music by recognisable performers. Customer's had strong views on this topic which were captured in the video to follow. In this interview footage, they discuss everything from how they feel in a shop that isn't playing music to how the various genres and artists can help to put them in the mood for a holiday when played in-store.

In tune with these views, PPL spoke to Michael Clark, Managing Director at Imagesound - one of the UK's leading suppliers of background music, who said: "These days people expect to hear great music wherever they go and over the years it has become an integral component of the retail mix. How you create an experience is a real art form, understanding the way in which a combination of music and lyrics can help to reflect a range of emotions, behaviours and needs for both staff and customers - two completely distinct groups. Creating a positive atmosphere for staff through shifts in music tempos throughout the working day, as well as allowing for any personalised staff orientated playlists during pre-opening and closing hours, amongst other things, can really help to enhance job satisfaction and motivation. Equally, in an age where more and more shoppers are turning to the internet, you need to create a bit of retail theatre to inspire those all-important purchases. As this research shows, getting that balance right can provide a brand with a real differentiator in a competitive marketplace."

Separate to this research study, PPL spoke to STA Travel about the impact of music to staff and customers in their stores. Laurence Bresh, Marketing Director at STA Travel said: "We find having music playing in our stores creates a relaxed and informal environment for both customers and staff. We are the world's leading student and youth travel company and are here to help young people start their adventure. Having a range of music playing in our 50 UK stores creates a great atmosphere to allow time to chat to our travel experts and ensure our customers have all the tools necessary to create their ideal itinerary."

As found with previous retail research, this study proves that music is vital to gaining the competitive advantage in the retail market place. Christine Geissmar, Operations Director, PPL, commented: "We are committed to raising awareness of the numerous emotional and financial benefits that music can bring to businesses. In a difficult economic climate, our research shows that placing music at the heart of the customer experience can reap real rewards - including enhanced customer experience, staff satisfaction, increased dwell time and sales. All we ask is that anyone choosing to play recorded music is legally compliant by obtaining a licence, ensuring that all those who invest their time and money in making recorded music are paid fairly for their work."

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