This is not new research, in fact it dates back to a 1993 thesis by Charles Areni and David Kim of Texas Tech University, but it is still makes interesting reading:

“As part of a field experiment in a large U.S. city, the background music (classical versus Top-Forty) in a centrally located wine store was varied over a two month period. The results of an ANOVA indicated that the classical music influenced shoppers to spend more money.

Additional findings suggest that, rather than increasing the amount of wine purchased, customers selected more expensive merchandise when classical music was played in the background.”

Since reading this I’ve become more aware of the music (or lack thereof) in the liquor stores I frequent. With most liquor retailers in Australia now being owned by the two major retail chains competition is fierce. In fact, in most of the liquor stores quantity has replaced quality, with acres of lower end product filling the shelves and often inexperienced staff trying to flog it.

There are a couple of exceptions on Sydney’s lower north shore with Figtree Cellars at Lane Cove and Dan Murphy’s at Willoughby worth a mention. Even though Dan Murphy’s has acres of wine there is some exceptional quality wine in there and knowledgable staff to assist with choice!