Effects of employees’ opportunities to influence in-store music on sales: Evidence from a field experiment

PublicationArticle (with peer review)
Atmospheric cues, Background music, Brand-fit music, Consumer behavior, Field experiment, Job satisfaction, Music tempo, work environment


The effects of in-store music on consumer behavior have attracted much attention in the marketing literature, but surprisingly few studies have investigated in-store music in relation to employees. By conducting a field experiment in eight Filippa K fashion stores in Stockholm, Sweden, we investigate whether it is beneficial for store owners to give employees more opportunities to influence the in-store music. We randomly assigned the stores into a treatment group and a control group, with the employees in the treatment stores having the opportunity to influence the in-store music through an app developed by Soundtrack Your Brand (SYB). The experiment lasted 56 weeks and sales data were also gathered 22 weeks before the experiment, resulting in a total of 4626 observations. Our results show that sales decreased by 6% when the employees had the opportunity to influence the music played in the store, and the effect is driven by a reduction in sales of women’s clothing. Interviews with the employees revealed that they had diverse music preferences, frequently changed songs, and preferred to play high-intensity songs. Employees thus seem to make choices regarding the in-store music that reduce sales, implying that store owners might want to limit their opportunities to influence the background music.

Daunfeldt, S.-O., Moradi, J., Rudholm, N., Öberg, C. (2021). Effects of employees’ opportunities to influence in-store music on sales: Evidence from a field experiment. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 59.

Similar content

Working Paper No. 330: Work Environment and Competition in Swedish Schools, 1999-2011
Working paperPublication
Sebhatu, A., Wennberg, K., Lakomaa, E. & Brandén, M.
Publication year


Published in

Ratio Working Paper


Research on schools’ work environment highlights socioeconomic conditions (SES) as primary drivers of work environment, but evidence to date is primarily limited to cross-sectional samples. Research on school competition has revealed important effects on educational outcomes, but effects on work environment are largely unknown. We bridge these literatures by studying the work environment in all Swedish junior high schools and high schools using detailed data on complaints and incidences of disorder, including violence. Comparing educational levels to gauge differences in degree of choice made possible by competition, we overall find more adverse work environment in junior high schools facing stronger school competition and with many low-SES students in either the school or the region. Conversely, we find better work environment in high schools facing stronger school competition, and in high schools with a large share of students with foreign background. To assess causal effects of competition on work environment we compare regions that introduced competition versus those that have not in a difference-in-difference framework. In such regions only complaints in high schools decrease after competition is introduced. We highlight the importance of including multiple measures of both competition and work environment.

Show more

Ratio is an independent research institute that researches how the conditions of entrepreneurship can be developed and improved.

Sveavägen 59 4trp

Box 3203

103 64 Stockholm

Bankgiro: 512-6578