You may notice that some Walgreens locations are blasting classical music through outdoor speakers. The company says they do this to discourage loitering. However, they admit there is no science or hard data behind the move.
What’s The Deal With The Loud Classical Music Outside Walgreens?
As has been noted, if you drive by some Walgreens locations throughout the Las Vegas valley, you’ll notice a tall metal pole in the parking lot. At the top of the pole, you’ll see loudspeakers and security cameras. Furthermore, at the bottom of the pole, you’ll see a couple of solar energy panels. According to a report on Fox5News.com, these security systems are provided by Live View Technologies.
Not only do these systems broadcast classical music on a recorded loop, but they are also replacing live security guards. So, not only is this a cost-cutting move at some Walgreens locations, but it also serves the purpose of recording what’s going on outside of these locations.
A quick Google search brought up stories from Chicago, Illinois and Memphis, Tennessee where the Walgreens stores are using a similar crime deterrent strategy. So, the next time you travel past a Las Vegas Walgreens store with the music blaring, take notice of the number of people who may be loitering outside the location.
Not Everyone Is Happy With This Added Security Measure
Representatives from Walgreens are quick to point out that you can only hear the loud music in the parking lot. They insist that they keep it low enough so that nearby residential neighborhoods can’t hear it.
However, they are not the only businesses using this security method. According to an article by Sarah Schulte on ABC7Chicago.com, 7-11 stores in that area have been blasting opera music outside some of their locations to ward off loiterers.
All in all, feelings are mixed based on answers from folks interviewed in Las Vegas, Chicago, and Memphis. Some customers don’t quite understand how this will keep people from hanging out at these locations. Other customers were happy with the added security and noticed fewer people loitering at their neighborhood Walgreens.
In fact, a homeless advocacy group in Chicago feels Walgreens’ tactics are discriminatory against people seeking shelter. Additionally, other people interviewed felt the strategy doesn’t solve the homeless problem, it just moves it to a different location.
We’ll have to wait and see how this plays out. But, I’m hoping they begin blasting 96.3 KKLZ instead of classical music or opera real soon!