Turn it off! Festive playlists making retail staff ill

PITCH: “UK Retail Workers Least Favourite Xmas Track – Mariah Carey”

A retail satisfaction expert has said stores need to do more to protect overworked staff being driven insane by listening to the same festive songs. UK retail workers manning Christmas tills are unable to escape the horror of listening to the same Christmas tunes on loop says Miika Mäkitalo, CEO of HappyOrNot, the creators of smiley-face feedback terminals, which appear in stores, shopping centres and airports around the world, that measure happiness of customers and staff at busy times.

The least favourite Christmas track according to UK retail workers according to a survey of UK workers by HappyOrNot (www.happy-or-not.com) was Mariah Carey’s 16-million-selling 1994 hit “All I Want For Christmas Is You” with 52% of votes.

Following Mariah on the list of nightmare Christmas earworms was Michael Bublé’s 2011 effort “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas” (22% of votes), and “Merry Christmas Everyone” released by Shakin’ Stevens in 1985 (7% of votes).

1.) “All I Want For Christmas Is You”, Mariah Carey – 52% of retail worker votes

2.) “It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas,” Michael Buble – 22% of votes

3.) “Merry Christmas Everyone,” Shakin’ Stevens – 7% of votes

4.) “Last Christmas”, Wham! – 4% of votes

5.) “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”, Band Aid – 4% of votes

*HappyorNot asked the 215k members of the Retail Worker Confessions Facebook community group.

“Stores need to prioritise the wellbeing of staff,” pleads retail happiness expert:

Miika Mäkitalo, CEO of HappyOrNot says stores are abandoning staff welfare in a bid to create a Christmas atmosphere to boost sales.

“Stores need to prioritise the wellbeing of their staff as much as the happiness of customers, and morale can be impacted by the wrong songs played on repeat during – for staff – is the busiest and most overworked time of year. This is a hugely significant time of year for in-store retail, when footfall increases as shoppers, sometimes very stressed, look for the perfect gifts for their nearest and dearest. 

Stores always take feedback from customers seriously but we want to reinforce the importance for retailers to offer their staff effective ways to provide real-time feedback, including on what they are forced to listen to at work. After all, all staff want for Christmas is a bit of peace and quiet and to be heard by their boss.

If management can act on any issues that may be causing retail staff dissatisfaction promptly thanks to an efficient feedback system, the overall in-store experience will be merrier for customers and staff alike.”

On the flipside, British retail staff were also asked to name their most favourite festive hit to hear in the background when working, 1987’s “Fairytale of New York”, by The Pogues ft. Kirsty MacColl came top (with almost 30% picking it). This was followed by “Last Christmas” by Wham! (22% of votes) and “I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday” by Wizzard (11% of votes).

Favourite Christmas songs for retail workers:

1.) “Fairytale of New York”, The Pogues ft. Kirsty MacColl – 30% of votes

2.) “Last Christmas,” Wham! – 22% of votes

3.) “I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday,” Wizzard – 11% of votes

4.) “It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas”, Michael Bublé – 11% of votes

5.) “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”, Brenda Lee – 4% of votes

Featured Photo by David Beale on Unsplash.

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