The debate as to when shops should enter into the festive spirit and begin selling Christmas gifts and playing holiday songs is one which arises year after year.
But when is it acceptable, and does festive music impact our spending habits?
When is it too early for shops to play Christmas songs?
Some believe that Christmas music played before the start of December is far too soon, as by the time it gets to Christmas Day itself the sounds of Mariah Carey, Chris Rea and Slade have been overplayed.
However, some don’t mind getting into the festive spirit early, and embrace shops that choose to play a festive tune or two starting in the early autumn.
Supermarkets tend to begin playing Christmas songs from mid-November onwards, with many waiting for the first day of December before playing the likes of Shakin’ Stevens, The Pogues and Michael Bublé in-store.
However, it’s not uncommon for some shops to start blasting out Christmas music in October or early November.
Aldi doesn’t play music in its stores, so if you’re not a fan of Christmas tunes while shopping, you’re guaranteed to have a peaceful experience at the budget supermarket.
Likewise, John Lewis and Waitrose opt to not play music in-store, except from the demonstrations that occasionally take place at John Lewis’ Beauty and Technology departments and for some special events.
However, home retailer B&M enters into the full Christmas spirit from 1 November, playing festive tunes in-store while customers shop. The chain launched its Christmas decoration and gifting ranges before Halloween, so shoppers who are feeling particularly festive.
Impact on spending
New research into public habits when it comes to Christmas shopping found that many people like to listen to festive music while shopping for gifts.
Shift surveyed 1,502 members of the British public on their Christmas shopping behaviour, and found that two thirds (64 per cent) of Brits enjoy Christmas music when they shop, with the most popular (80 per cent) reason being that “it boosts their mood.”
Alongside this, the research also found that festive music being played in shops while out shopping can increase spending, with a fifth of people (18 per cent) agreeing that hearing Christmas music encourages them to buy more gifts.
More than half (52 per cent) of those surveyed said they would be disappointed if a shop wasn’t playing festive music during December.
Most and least popular Christmas songs when shopping
The survey also found that Christmas shoppers enjoy listening to Michael Bublé’s 2012 cover of It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas the most. It was selected by 49 per cent of respondents.
The top 5 Christmas songs to shop to are:
Michael Bublé - It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like ChristmasMariah Carey - All I Want for Christmas is YouThe Pogues - Fairytale of New YorkAriana Grande - Santa Tell MeWham! - Last Christmas
The 5 least popular Christmas songs to shop to are:
Justin Bieber - MistletoeGene Autry - Here Comes Santa ClausThe Beach Boys - Little Saint NickBing Crosby - Do You Hear What I Hear?Slade - Merry Christmas Everybody