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Union claims retail workers 'traumatised' by repetitive Christmas songs

Thu 02 Nov 2017
By Premier Journalist

A union has said the retail industry needs to be more mindful about Christmas song selections.

The Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers has asked that retailers choose a more varied selection of music and to start playing Christmas songs a bit later.

It claimed that constant repetition of Christmas songs in shops is damaging the mental health of some workers.

It also said some workers have become traumatised by jingle bells and mistletoe and wine.

Linda Blair who is a clinical psychologist said: "Christmas music is likely to irritate people if it's played too loudly and too early.

"It might make us feel that we're trapped - it's a reminder that we have to buy presents, cater for people, organise celebrations.

"Some people will react to that by making impulse purchases, which the retailer likes. Others might just walk out of the shop. It's a risk."

However, Gary Grant who is the managing director of The Entertainer toy shop said it's never too early.

He said: "In the middle of October, it starts off as being one in four songs. Now it's one out of two. In a couple of weeks' time it'll be all Christmas music."

The reason is all about making people spend more money and earlier: "We basically spend 10 months preparing for two.

"Without these final eight weeks we wouldn't make any money."

However, James Cooper, creator of whyChristmas.com and a Christian expert on all things Christmas related said although he's a huge fan of Christmas, November is too early too celebrate.

He told Premier:"Keeping it to December is probably a good idea but I know they try to get people in the 'Christmassy' mood by putting Christmas music on early.

"There's such a vast array of Christmas music out there that I don't think people need to be limited to one version of 'Mistletoe and Wine' by the wonderful Cliff for two months on end". 

Listen to James Cooper speaking with Premier's Eno Adeogun here:


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