In store music matters

  • In Association with OneMusic
  • December 11, 2017
In store music matters

Music. It’s always there, but it’s not often we stop to think about the effect it has on our environment. Mark Cowie, New Zealand operations manager for Recycle Boutique talks about how they use music targeted to their demographic to add to the in-store experience.

“When staff get into the store in the morning the first thing they do is turn on the music. Playing positive music when you’re preparing the store for the day puts everyone in a good mood, which is important for a retail space - retail is all about mood.

There is definitely a sweet spot when it comes to choosing the right type of music for what you’re selling. For us selling recycled designer clothing, we are known for our creative, fun and fast paced environments. We like to match music with that to give customers the right feeling for the brand.

As well as genre, getting the volume right is also important. We have a wide range of customers from diverse backgrounds and ages, so we make sure we don’t play music too loud. It’s a balancing act, playing music that is loud enough to create an energy in-store, but not too loud for it to be intrusive.

Alongside touch and the obvious visual elements, music is one of the key ingredients to creating the perfect environment for a bricks-and-mortar store. People come in to our stores to interact with the clothing, the staff and the environment that we create, and music is a big part of that. Without music, it would be quite a stale environment.

Our managers have a lot of say in what we play in the stores. They know our customers and the environment best, so we ask them to choose the music within certain guidelines. Every city has a different feel - for our Wellington store, you wouldn’t play the same music as you would in our Auckland or Christchurch stores, because the customers vary in each location. Events can also play a part on what music is playing, say in New Zealand music month we may play more New Zealand music. 

The music we allow the staff to play has a lot of range across all genres. Obviously, we don’t want anything too explicit, but we’re quite happy for them to make playlists suited to their city and market. We do listen to them as well to make sure they’re okay and brand aligned. The staff do a great job at getting the volume and playlists just right – they really nail it.

I think creating a music strategy is really about figuring out what your business model is and what works for you. For us we are a little different and organic, that’s the way our business works, so we can have a little more fun and be creative with our music, which our client base enjoys. I think the biggest thing is figuring out your customers, what they enjoy and really getting the music right to add another dimension to what you offer.”


The Recycle Boutique holds a OneMusic licence for their stores, which grants them the legal permission they need to use music. Having permission to play music in a business environment is required by law under the NZ Copyright Act (1994), and is a non-negotiable start to making the most of music in-store.

Non-profit organisation OneMusic offer simple annual music licences that grant businesses permission to use virtually all commercially released music. A OneMusic licence gives you peace of mind that your business is on the right side of the law, and ensures that music creators are fairly compensated for the use of their music. 

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