Quieter Christmas shopping promised.

Marks and Spencer, which last year dropped piped music in its stores (thanks to Pipedowners’ protests) except at Christmas, is this year planning to drop it over the festive season also. And ASDA is extending its Quiet Days to every Tuesday morning from December 15th.   Such moves come as evidence mounts of the stress that department store staff suffer from endlessly repeated Christmas muzac. Linda Blair, a clinical psychologist, warns people to take special care when encountering Christmas music because ‘it bypasses our rationality’.

That Christmas music stresses staff even more than customers is hardly news. For years Pipedowners have been pointing out the problem. It is one of the themes of our booket Whose Choice is it Anyway? Other shops should all now emulate M&S’s and ASDA’s sane example.

Write to Sean Clarke, the head of ASDA, congratulating him and urging him to extend this policy throughout the week. ASDA’s  replies to emails suggest that it is open to reasoned arguments. sean.clarke@asda.co.uk