Don't Stop the Music

As retail evolves, customer experience has become a key focus. Retail NZ talks to Gareth Chitty, owner of Gareth & Co Hair Salon about how music feeds into their customer experience – setting the mood and communicating the salon's relaxed vibe.

Music is huge for us, it sets up the entire ambiance for the salon. We are quite a small salon, so we’re careful not to play music too loud, or music that is too overbearing – we don’t play many high energy dance tunes! The music we play tends to be more lounge bar, Sunday-session type music that we find on the internet, mostly through streaming services.

The best thing about running a hair salon is you get to do things your own way - you can run things how you want them to be run, and this extends to the music we play.

The way we approach music selection is very intentional - we hunt down music with our clients in mind, and that we think our clients will enjoy. We also take feedback from our clients onboard, so if they’ve heard a song they like or love a particular album, we’ll put it on our playlist for the salon. Clients often comment that they enjoy the music we play, and we get quite a few clients using music-recognition apps like Shazam in the salon, so they obviously like what we play!Music helps set the mood of the salon. If the music stops or gets paused for some reason, you can really notice the silence. It just gets quieter and suddenly, everyone can hear everyone talking. It is quite an eerie feeling when the music stops, it is felt personally within the space.

While in general we tend to stick to specific playlists that are a bit slower, there is definitely some variation throughout the day. In the evenings we may turn the music up a little bit or play songs that are a little more upbeat, but in the mornings we do like to keep it slow and more chilled out. Our whole thing is that clients are there to have a nice relaxing experience, and I think music should reflect that.

You can find Gareth & Co online here, and in real life at 1a Francis Street, West Lynn, Auckland.

Gareth & Co holds a OneMusic licence, which grants them the permission they need to use music. Having permission to play music in a business environment is required by law under the NZ Copyright Act (1994), and is a non-negotiable start to making the most of music. OneMusic offers simple annual music licences that grant businesses permission to use virtually all commercially released music. As a member organisation, after administration costs, all money collected is returned to music creators as royalties. A OneMusic licence gives you peace of mind that your business is on the right side of the law, and ensures that music creators are fairly compensated for the use of their music.

Originally published in NZ Retail Magazine