Five reasons to play music with tips from Oliver Bonas

When the hustle and bustle of the festive season is over, now can be a great time to make the most of the quieter weeks ahead. But for retailers, its likely to be a very different story.  

Winter sales and price cuts aside, shops and stores across the UK might find themselves wondering how they can do more to encourage customers and drive sales, particularly during the slump – but rest assured, because nationwide retail brand, Oliver Bonas might have the answer.

The luxury, independent British lifestyle chain believes that playing music is one of the ways that they attract customers into their stores and create the experience that the brand has have become known for.

Founder, Oliver Tress and members of the Oliver Bonas team, Donna Gutteridge and Erin Thomas – alongside PPL PRS, the company responsible for issuing TheMusicLicence to businesses and organisations in the UK –  share five reasons retailers could benefit from playing music, and why playing it can be important to staff and customers alike.

1. Music can help make your brand stand out

As a retailer, it’s important to stand out. For Oliver Bonas, carefully selecting the music is one of the ways they create a unique space, and it is something that allows them to express their individuality and identity. As Oliver Tress, explains, “we do things better when we do them ourselves and we take pride in hand picking every one of our tracks including songs from new artists to more established from around the world. The eclectic  mix of music we play represents our brand values. Creativity is something we value at Oliver Bonas, and we showcase this in our music everyday.”

2. Music could increase customer dwell time

A shop front can be what attracts a customer into a store, but what about keeping them there? According to research by PPL PRS, 76% of people agreed that they enjoyed listening to background music in businesses, whilst almost half said that they are encouraged to stay longer when music is playing.1 Using music, particularly a style that suits a retailer’s products, customers or culture could help to set the mood and could be one way of increasing sales for both new and returning customers.

3. Music can help to improve staff morale

A business is only as good as its workforce, so it is important for retailers to consider their staff. After the Christmas rush when motivation levels may dip, playing music could help to provide an added burst of energy throughout the day, whilst ensuring the environment remains vibrant and enjoyable. As Erin Thomas explains, “the music [we play] effects the staff morale by just keeping it lifted, it keeps it high, it keeps you going throughout the day and makes us feel as bright and as colourful as we are as a brand.”

So, warm up this winter and discover how using music can benefit your staff and customers alike.

4. Music boosts the mood and lifts the atmosphere

A welcoming atmosphere can be one of the most important factors for customers when deciding whether to visit a business. For retailers, playing music can be a great way to lift the mood, enhance the environment and engage with customers. As Donna Gutteridge explains, “it’s really important at Oliver Bonas that our customers have a real emotional connection with us, and we can do that through our music.” Playing music can help give retail environments a welcoming feel and make the experience more positive and engaging overall.

5. Music helps to support artists

Music is valuable, and so are those that make it. By purchasing TheMusicLicence and playing music in shops and stores, retailers can support the future of music by ensuring those that create music are fairly rewarded for their work.  As Donna Gutteridge explains, “it’s really important to Oliver Bonas that we have the right licences in place because the licence fee goes back to the music creators so they can then produce great music that our stores can listen to.

We have a few team members that are artists themselves and it’s a real pleasure to be able to put them on so that the whole of Oliver Bonas can enjoy listening to them and it’s a real boost for the team.” These are just a selection of tips of how music can be used to enhance a business and create a great customer experience.  For more information and to view the full Oliver Bonas success story, visit


  1. Survey performed by Attest based on 500 UK adults, in February 2023



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