Thank you for the music – or not? The effects of in-store music in service settings

Anne Michel*, Chris Baumann, Leonie Gayer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Citations (Scopus)


Managers believe that in-store music has positive effects on customers’ responses; consequently, it is widely used in different service settings such as supermarkets and coffee shops. However, prior research shows inconclusive results about the effects of in-store music – namely positive, non-significant and even negative effects. To shed more light on the actual effects of in-store music, the authors provide a systematic literature review of journal articles to explore such effects in six frequently studied service settings: supermarkets, retail, restaurants, bars, cafeterias and banks. The present literature review has three objectives. First, the authors develop a conceptual framework to provide structure and guidance to the research stream about in-store music in service settings. Second, the authors take a closer look at the existence of in-store music (i.e., whether the presence of in-store music helps, has no effect, or ‘hurts’) as well as on the design of in-store music for each service setting separately (i.e., how in-store music has to be designed to have beneficial effects). Third, after elaborating the status quo (what do we know?), this review identifies areas for future research (what do we need to know?).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-32
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Retailing and Consumer Services
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2017


  • Customer response
  • Existence and design of in-store music
  • In-store music
  • Literature review
  • Retail environment
  • Service setting


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