Please bear in mind that these are Canadians complaining. Canadians. Complaning. I certainly hope you’re happy Christmas…
Shoppers Drug Mart turns off Christmas music ‘until further notice’ after complaints
Tired of the onslaught of Christmas that has started to plague retail stores everywhere? Already sick of chestnuts roasting on an open fire almost two months before the actual holiday? Well, you are not alone.
Shoppers Drug Mart posted an amusing status update to its Facebook page on Friday afternoon. While its locations started piping in Christmas music on Nov. 1, it will be taken off its sound system sometime tonight — at least for a while.
“Hi everyone, due to recent complaints around the Christmas music being played in stores, we want to advise you that as of midnight EST tonight, all Christmas music will be suspended until further notice. We do take customer feedback to heart, and it does lead to change. Thank you for your patience around this and have a fabulous Friday.”
Tammy Smitham, director of communications for Shoppers Drug Mart, explained that the stores started playing the tunes right after Halloween for a number of years. However, this was the first time that the unfavourable reaction was significant enough to act on, which she credits social media with making possible.
“We have extremely engaged customers,” Smitham says, although the chain has not decided when it will be safe to blast “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” again. Of course, the War on Christmas brigade has still been vocal on Facebook about the move, which may require a bit of damage control against the accusations: “We have not cancelled it.”
The same day also marked the launch of holiday cups at Starbucks — to accompany the Christmas music and decorations that will be sure to follow, if they haven’t kicked in already. Target, which will launch its stores in Canada next year, started running seasonal commercials stateside in mid-October.
Several radio stations in the U.S. marked the start of November by flipping to the all-seasonal music format. The move by Shoppers Drug Mart to hold off a bit on the “Jingle Bells” might lead broadcasters in Canada to reconsider the date on which they do the same.