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Sweet-sounding Shop Goods

A general and applicable method for an improved working environment and fewer thefts in retail.

The purpose of the project is to apply research on sonification, sound design and sounding to study whether it is possible to reduce shoplifting by offering an alternative to the existing monitoring systems that exist in today's retail. Sonification has many documented uses, but is an unexplored method in retail. The sense of hearing is also generally an under-utilized resource in monitoring systems.

The goal of the project is to present new knowledge about and how sound can be used in stores to:
● facilitate the staff's continuous monitoring of the premises
● reduce staff's cognitive workload
● Control attention by changing background music from in-store events
● examine perceptual limits for when sound changes are experienced as disturbing
● understand how to influence behavioural patterns behind shoplifting
● create conditions for better customer experiences in physical stores
● examine customer acceptance of alternative monitoring methods
● examine how customer and employee acceptance can be increased through transparency
● facilitate sonic branding


Kjetil Falkenberg (PI), Emma Frid, Sven-Olov Daunfeldt (Institute of Retail Economics), Tobias Otterbring (UIA), Martin Ljungdahl Eriksson (Soundmark), and Håkan Lidbo.


The Swedish Retail and Wholesale Council

Duration of the Project

January 1st, 2021 to December 31st, 2022