You're going to start hearing more music while you shop at Target

Welcome addition, or psychological ploy?
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This news about Target stores will be music to your ears ... if you like that sort of thing.

After experimenting with playing music after the Ridgedale Target in Minnetonka was remodeled in 2011, Target is planning on introducing background music at even more stores over the coming months.

The Minneapolis retailer confirmed to GoMN shoppers at select stores will be accompanied by an "upbeat, positive and playful" playlist of overhead music as they peruse the aisles.

Since the Ridgedale trial, background music has been introduced at 65 stores across the country – including several in the Twin Cities – but by the end of the year that will have been expanded to 180.

Stores in the Twin Cities that already have the music include northeast Minneapolis (Stinson), Ridgedale, Roseville, Highland Park, Dinkytown, Chaska, St. Louis Park, St. Paul Midway and Minnetonka.

The stores that will see music introduced by the end of the year will mostly be either new stores or stores Target is in the process renovating. The retailer in the midst of a multi-billion dollar revamp of 500 stores across the U.S.

If the company is taking suggestions for the playlist – here's one for them.

Is this a psychological ploy?

Target said customer and staff feedback to initial tests of background music "was almost universally positive," but is there something sinister going on here?

OK, sinister is a bit much, but there are several studies out there showing that in-store music can have a psychological effect on customers' shopping habits.

A selection of these studies have been highlighted by Business Insider, which includes a finding that "low-tempo music causes shoppers to move slowly, but they also buy more."

On the other hand, "loud" music causes customers to move through a grocery store more quickly, however it apparently doesn't reduce how much they buy.

There's also an impact based on what kind of music you play. MotiveMetrics reports shoppers are more likely to buy Christmas items if holiday music is playing in the background, while classical music encourages shoppers to opt for more expensive items.

Bear this in mind if you head to a Target store this summer, hear the Beach Boys start playing, and find yourself gravitating towards swimsuits and shades.

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