Grocery Shopping Sounds

GROCERY SHOPPING SOUNDS After visiting the newly renovated Heights Kroger on Shepherd at 11th St., John Whiteside decides he likes what he hears better at the Heights Fiesta on 14th and Studewood: “Because it’s an old store, they play music. Kroger, on the other hand, plays a constant soundtrack of ads. As you stroll along through the aisles, you are bombarded by loud, insistent messages telling you what to buy, and insisting that the latest high fructose treats are really healthy for your kids because they were once in the same room as an apple, and that the new soup packaged so you can consume it with one hand in your SUV while making phone calls is just what a busy person like you needs, and so on. And it’s all punctuated with boops and beeps designed to keep you from easily tuning it out, and which often make me think I’m getting text messages.” [By the Bayou; previously on Swamplot]

18 Comment

  • In more than one Kroger or Randalls that I visit, there is a constant litany of ads rather than music. And can someone please tell me why every store wants me to think about SHINGLES while I am shopping for food? Every time I am strolling through a store with those pre-recorded PSAs, its all about shingles. “Are you over (a certain age)? Did you have measles or chicken pox as a child? You are now a good candidate for SHINGLES”. Gee, thanks.

  • Yeah, I really hate that about Kroger. Their ad music is kind of interesting, though. One thing is a jazz-inspired vibraphone riff and another is a little bassoon passage that is reminiscent of Prokofiev. No shingles, thank goodness. But there are seagull sounds near the seafood and there used to be clucking chicken sounds near the eggs.

  • Are there really ads? I never noticed them? I guess I’m too busy thinking on my own and following my preset shopping list.

    Ideally I would want no music or ads. The movement of carts, and people talking should generate enough noise to not make it awkwardly silent.

  • My lady and I walk to that Fiesta everyday to get groceries for that night’s meal. We’re always left humming a classic soul/rock tune on the way home. And all the people who work there know who we are and ask how we’re doing.

    Wow! We’re part of a community instead of being surrounded by the scared, antisocial xenophobes that are at most every other supermarket in this city. Imagine that.

  • When I was at the 11th/Shepherd location the other day, they played:
    The Chicken Dance
    Theme from Hawaii Five-O
    Theme from Happy Days


  • We shouldn’t blame the store for the music. That’s a corporate thing. I’m sure the employees hate it just as much.

    The music you may like at another store is tiring after just one day of working since you’ll here it on repeat. A CD holds about 70-80 mins, so that rotation is drummed into your head all day.

    Imagine hearing that shingles add many times a day. You have to learn to tune it out or go crazy.

  • “You have to learn to tune it out or go crazy.”

    Or just shop at HEB.

  • True, I tune it all out. Try to stay focused so I can find my car later.
    But I hope the announcement about the nearby killer tornado will be accompanied by some of those disconcerting beeps & boops!

  • Kroger is the worst for the in-store advertising. Though, of course, they often feature the live music performance in-store on weekends at the River Oaks location. That’s got to be a tough gig.

  • Balth – Don’t they get a satellite feed on the Kroger Shopping Network? They used to. There is probably research showing those tunes make shoppers buy the highest profit items.
    I noticed long ago that the Fiesta at Dunlavy and Alabama, (best small grocery in the loop) plays great and often very unexpected stuff and the Studemont store is not far behind.

  • It’s most likely a satellite feed where the store has no control.

    Many smaller stores (think mall clothing stores) use CDs. If they have have a fancy flat screen, it’s likely a DVD. Pulling this from my friends in retail (the masters at tuning out ambient music).

  • Anyone ever venture into the now-gone FAO Schwartz store across from the Galleria and remember that inane “Welcome to our world of toys!” song? If I had worked there, I either would have ultimately snapped and tried to assassinate everyone in the store with a marked-up Star Wars blaster or run screaming up Westheimer ripping my clothes off.

  • Hellsing,

    Not long after FAO closed, it was remodeled into the Grand Luxe Cafe. It’s owned my the same company that owns the Cheesecake Factory and much of the menu follows the same concept: Over flavored food with way too many carbs and massive amount of calories. The best thing over there just like the Cheesecake Factory is the cheesecake.

  • finness, I think the satellite is usually set to the Kroger shopping network, but there have definitely been a couple days with the weird theme music. I’m not sure if it’s related to the whole remodel effort. I’ve gotten pretty good at not hearing the commercials any more, so those “off” days threw me for a loop!

  • There has actually been research done and statistics measured on how the music affects shoppers. Apparently, happy, bouncy music makes you want to stay longer and buy more. Those clucking chicken sounds near the eggs and mooing cows near the milk make me laugh, but don’t encourage me to buy the products.

    That same research discovered that women who shop with their children stay longer and buy more too. That’s why the little darlings get their own carts and free cookies in the bakery. But the next child that bangs into me with his/her cart is going to leave the store wearing it.

  • Doubt there is research about people who get so frustrated at their inability to find things in the big boxes, they buy less. I know I only shop the perimeter of the new Kroger; never go down the aisles.

  • I can confirm Balthazar’s tale.
    Stopped in River Oaks Kroger the other day – in usual distracted state – but was jolted out of it by the Happy Days theme as I was reaching for a can of Rotel…..thought it was creepy. Then another customer walked(er…bounced) by me singing it.
    Guess there is some subliminal logic to it not associated with remodeling.

  • Wow! We’re part of a community instead of being surrounded by the scared, antisocial xenophobes that are at most every other supermarket in this city. Imagine that.

    WTF does this even mean? Can someone translate this from hipster to English?