German discount food retailer Aldi does a lot of things differently to keep costs low. While a number of them are obvious—like not providing free bags or carts for your groceries—you might not have noticed some of the more subtle ways Aldi stands out from its supermarket competitors. For instance, their lack of music.
That’s right. You won’t find music playing in any of Aldi’s 1,600 U.S. locations. As Jenna Coleman, a consumer behavior analyst in the grocery sector, explained to Reader’s Digest, the lack of tunes is just one part of Aldi’s big picture strategy for keeping prices low. “As someone who shops at Aldi every week, I am very familiar with the many things Aldi does to cut costs,” she said. “Not playing music in their stores is just another line item they aren’t passing onto their customers.”
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So how does a lack of music cut costs? Not only does nixing the tunes mean Aldi doesn’t have to pay licensing fees, going sans-music has also been proven to make shoppers, well, shop faster.
“There’s been research that suggests playing relaxing music in stores makes customers relax and browse more, which is why many stores play music,” Kristin McGrath, an editor and shopping expert at Offers.com, told RD. “People are there to save as much money on essentials as possible, period. Music that encourages relaxed wandering and browsing is not part of that master plan.”
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