A New York convenience stores had problems with teens shoplifting inside their store and dealing drugs & fighting outside. Cops were called on a daily basis and the store was often closed down during serious incidents. Most of their issues landed when kids were either on their way to school or hanging out afterwards.
The store wanted teens’ business, but not the fights and drug-dealing that sometimes accompany late-night loitering.
We recommended that store owners to subtly play big band jazz music, and play that music not only inside the store, but on the outside common areas as well. Upon hearing the music, the teenagers voluntarily left –and stayed away from– the parking lot and downgraded product loss to under 1%. We also had the security guard that was hired change into street clothes so it was less of a hostile environment.
The music did not affect sales to teenagers, just influenced them to play well with others.
*Note: Music has a profound effect on us and studies have shown that different music will put us in a variety of moods, anywhere from wanting to make out with that certain loved one to having the desire to rob a bank. Music can not force us to do something, however it can create the mood for social change or behavior.
There is something to be said as well for the presence of authority. Although it is fairly controversial in our crazy times, Psychologists have shown that the Less intimidating show of force will make more people at ease and not defensive. Defensive people tend to fight and make bad decisions in public.