MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WREG) — You may hear some Memphis Walgreens stores before seeing them. The drugstore chain has begun blasting classical music in some of its parking lots to drive away loiterers.
“At various locations, we have implemented a recorded music loop that plays outside of the store to help deter loitering on the premises. We take steps to ensure the music is only loud enough for the immediate area around the store and cannot be heard by residents in surrounding neighborhoods,” Walgreens said.
The music is loud enough to be heard from businesses next door and across the street.
“If people don’t want to hear it, they won’t stay here too long. I think it’s good,” said a customer outside the Walgreens at Poplar and Cleveland.
A mobile camera system has been blaring the classical tunes at the Poplar and Cleveland location for about a week. The Walgreens at Union and Pauline has also been serenading customers with the symphonic music for several weeks.
Terrence Fry loves classical music and noticed it was playing outside the Walgreens in the 900 block of Union.
“I wasn’t really curious. I just like it. I thought it was really cool,” said Fry.
Fry said it might keep the panhandlers away, but other shoppers aren’t so sure it will make much of a difference.
“I don’t think the music will really help with that because I’ve seen people loitering around here,” said Anthony Thomas.
Businesses around the globe have been using classical music for decades to stop loitering and deter other crimes with some success. However, there is no hard data as to why it works.
Walgreens has been trying the tactic at stores across the country but hasn’t said if it is helping with their vagrancy problem.