The Sound of the Stores 24 report

Audio, News
6 June 2024

We’re constantly surveying the high streets, shopping centres and retail parks of the UK to assess the music playing in the stores. From background music that deserves to be in the background, to music that is front and centre of the customer experience we’ve heard it all. We’ve compiled the results to create a guide for retail and hospitality leaders on the opportunities to grab and dangers they face.


Here are the highlights:

Greatness is rare

Last year, only 4% of in store music was rated “great” in our survey – this year so far, it’s only up slightly to 9%. Great stores had music that had significantly raised the in-store experience and was clearly audible throughout the floor space.

Poor quality is a bigger issue

The amount of stores rated as “poor” is on the rise. Last year, 38% of stores rated “poor” for their music experience, in 2024, 48% have achieved a “poor” rating. The main reasons of these poor ratings are music that doesn’t reflect the brand and audio equipment that’s not up to the job.

Fashion leads the way

Fashion retailers once again set the standard – clothes and shoe retailers seem to have a knack for matching their music experience to their customers and stores.

Supermarkets lag behind

Meanwhile, general retailers (including supermarkets) are most likely to be marked as “poor”. The main reason for this is dated music and audio which is hard to hear in these, often larger, stores.

Cut costs, cut effectiveness

We’ve spotted a new trend which seems to be caused by stores cutting music costs and getting it very wrong for their customers. An elite few are doing this well, but the majority could be causing more damage to their sales than they are saving.

“There are some seriously impressive sounding stores right now, but danger signs that retailers in particular are damaging their customer and staff experience through lack of love and care.” – Euan McMorrow, Managing Director AVC Music


Speak with out MD, Euan McMorrow, about the report.

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