21 Comments

  1. 1) Is ‘supermarket’ more au curant than ‘grocery store’, or is it a regional term?

    2) The few times I’ve gone out (curbside prescription pickup, curbside vet clinic), I’ve had to REMIND MYSELF to NOT put on lipstick, as it messes up the inside of my Airedale face mask.

  2. From Wikipedia:
    A supermarket is a self-service shop offering a wide variety of food, beverages and household products, organized into sections. It is larger and has a wider selection than earlier grocery stores, but is smaller and more limited in the range of merchandise than a hypermarket or big-box market.

    In everyday U.S. usage, however, “grocery store” is a synonym for supermarket, and is not used to refer to other types of stores that sell groceries.

  3. Your supermarkets play Muzak? I can’t recall ever being in one that did that (and if any local one started doing so, I’d take my business elsewhere). Closest thing I can remember is K-Mart’s frequent “Attention Shoppers, Sale on Overpriced Crap in Aisle Seven” announcements. (And I’ve only been in the last local K-Mart three times in the last thirty years, and since it’s now closed won’t have to go there again.)

    I can’t even recall the last time I was in an elevator that played “elevator music.” Either I’ve led a charmed life of late or my memory is failing rapidly.

  4. Back in the day (before March 2020), the WM Neighborhood Grocery Store I infrequently frequented had Muzak, altho it was MY MUSIC that had been ‘Muzaked’. The nearby Walgreens has HORRIBLE Muzak; I guess they don’t want anyone to browse. Two years ago, a Michael’s [headbanging] Muzak was so bad I complained to the management, then never returned.

    I am always SO HAPPY that I never had to work in a place where someone ELSE decided on the music. In the Library, *I* decided the music . . . we had a lovely CD player and I brought in my CDs. I played a variety, from Enya to Jimmy Buffett to classical to country western and beyond . . . the only complaints I rec’d was that I wouldn’t play any headbanger music. But then, we wouldn’t subscribe to High Times, either, despite students’ requests. They were lucky we had Rolling Stone and MAD; we were the only library in the school district that did.

  5. Shrug: Are you sure? Where are you? I’ve never been in one that didn’t play music, though not necessarily Muzak. I remember hearing Steely Dan in one a couple of years ago–not a cover, actual Steely Dan–and laughing out loud. (Since basically all their songs are about drugs, it would have been unthinkable to hear them played “straight” until relatively recently; now I guess they’re Golden Oldies!)

  6. Our local (German) supermarkets tend to play a random selection of fairly innocuous pop music, punctuated at irregular intervals by pesky advertisements. The selection seems to have been carefully vetted, I don’t think I’ve ever heard anything really annoying (except for the ads), but on the other hand, almost never anything that I really liked.
    P.S. Once time when I was in a music shop somewhere in the L.A. suburbs, they started playing some incredibly odious stuff (it wasn’t just “headbanging”, it was simply indescribably awful). I went over to the register to ask what that horrid music was supposed to be, and the clerk produced an LP cover that was just as ugly as the music was bad, explaining that in their earlier store, it had proved to be the ideal record to get everyone to leave, so that they could close up early. I pointed out that it wasn’t even close to closing time, but was told that they had learned to like it, so that they had begun to put it on just for their own enjoyment (certainly not for anyone else’s).
    P.P.S. The album might have been this one; Rolling Stone said that “it may stand as the worst album ever recorded“, and The New Yorker called it “hauntingly bad“.

  7. Andréa: Hah! Actually no, grocery store. But my daughter and I had a running joke about Steely Dan: any time one of their songs came on, one of us would ask the other, “What’s this song about?” and the other would answer “Drugs.”

    When I heard the song, I muttered “Drugs” under my breath; a lady passing by must have heard me, because she gave me a VERY odd look. She’ll survive.

  8. I haven’t been in any kind of store that played music of any kind in a long time. Which is GREAT, IMNSHO.

    I usually tell companies that play loud hold music that their taste suck… er, isn’t the same as mine. I haven’t noticed that they stopped it.

  9. Hubby’s theory is that the night time cleaning crew puts on the loud music, and no one bothers to change it. And/or the ‘teenagers’ put it on for themselves, and the h*ll with anyone else. This is pertaining to restaurants and bars. I’ve often asked for music to be turned down so that we could actually have a conversation, and we’ve left the bar/restaurant (more of the latter than the former) if they don’t.

    Our daily restaurant in Kenosha had NO music at all; I liked that the best, as many of us knew each other and would talk booth to booth to table.

  10. And I just got back from a supermarket run here in Minneapolis, and can again report: no music. Yah!

  11. The supermarket I frequent plays music. It’s usually some older pop, but sometimes other genres.

  12. Muzak (since re-branded) had several different channels, and included regular original-artist recordings along with “elevator music”.

    I recall a situation at the store where I work when the streaming feed to our music service had been interrupted and a half-hour (or so) of programming kept repeating for an entire day. So I got to hear such gems as Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” over and over in a tight loop. My co-workers are always complaining about the music, but that day took the cake. One day we found the music inexplicably switched to Christmas programming, well off-season. Some times we’ve turned the volume down low, which is fine with me, while one or two occasions I’ve noticed the music may have been off altogether, so it is possible for a grocery story to be music-free for a day or two.

    I’ve heard more than once of malls using classical music to deter teens from loitering.

    Relating to The Shaggs album mentioned earlier, it’s difficult to actually enjoy, but one should bear in mind the poor young sisters were forced into it by their overbearing father who wouldn’t even allow them to listen to outside music. So their album is a rare example of music with no outside influence whatsoever.

  13. Andréa – Someone else who has a WM Neighbor Market! How great! We were at ours today – we managed to avoid going for our mid August shopping trip – only went to a regular chain supermarket near us for Diet Coke on sale (first time bought same since before March) – when we shop like this during the pandemic, I try not to let Robert see the receipt, he did this time – I had to point out that it is over a month’s worth of food and we are not eating out other than more recently taking out Chinese from a local place – contactless delivery. Someday soon I have to go through all we bought that went in freezer or fridge and rearrange it and take inventory. (He had a problem this time with the concept of only room for 7 more frozen box meals maximum (each box meal is suppose to be dinner for 3-4 people) he only had 6 and then went for one that was double sized.)

    We have the honor of having the highest grossing Neighbor Market in the country in an adjacent community. They have converted it to an “IRL” which in this case means “Intelligent Retail Lab”. There is a huge bank of 1950s looking computers behind a glass wall, lots of electronic equipment and flashing lights (which I think is dangerous for Epileptics). They spent all this money and time to find out why it is the highest grossing in the country – I could tell them why for much less. We do not have Super Walmarts here – first one was in the midst of being changed to same when the pandemic hit. So our Walmart stores do not have supermarkets – just maybe 8 or 9 aisles of food items. So it does not have competition from other Walmarts for food business.

  14. I suspect that there’s a bunch of people doing it, because I know I keep catching myself and having to stop. (It’s not that I’m forgetting that singing is a bad idea, it’s that I’m not noticing when I start to do it.) I did actually hear a useful announcement at the grocery store I’ve been shopping at lately. I’d been going in at 9 in the morning, to leave the first hour for high-risk people, and then I discovered from an announcement that the store actually opened at 7, not 8 (I had gotten confused between “open” and “open to the general public”).

  15. This week the supermarket had oldies going. I recall specifically “Takin’ Care Of Business” by Bachman-Turner Overdrive.

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