Customer complaints prompt Shoppers to turn off Christmas music

A Shoppers Drug Mart store is pictured in downtown Ottawa February 10, 2011. (REUTERS FILE...

A Shoppers Drug Mart store is pictured in downtown Ottawa February 10, 2011. (REUTERS FILE PHOTO/Chris Wattie)

Sheena Goodyear, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:42 PM ET

Customer complaints have prompted Shoppers Drug Mart to shut off its Christmas music, but the jolly jingles will be back later in the year.

Spokeswoman Tammy Smitham said the national pharmacy chain normally starts playing holiday tunes at the beginning of November. They had no idea it got on people's nerves.

But now that the chain has some 45,000 Facebook fans giving feedback in real time, Shoppers has gotten the message.

"We looked at the volume of feedback that we were getting. From the majority, we've heard people say it's too early," Smitham said.

As of Friday at midnight, Frosty The Snowman and Jingle Bell Rock will be axed for the usual top-40 fare.

But Christmas lovers need not fear — the festive tunes will be back.

"It has not been cancelled. It will be back closer to the holiday season," Smitham said.

Reactions from customers on Facebook have been mixed. Some said Christmas music should be kept at bay until after Remembrance Day out of respect for veterans.

Others criticized the store for a move they perceived as political correctness run amok.

"It's the Christmas music that gets everyone in the spirit of the season. Why do we as Canadians have to conform to others and their way?" Wendy Cole wrote in the Facebook comments — a sentiment echoed by others.

Smitham said that while Shoppers has a commitment to diversity in the workplace, "it's really just people felt it was too early for holiday music."

Complaints aside, within an hour of making the announcement, more than 2,200 people had "liked" it on Facebook.


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