Convenience stores are often hit with the inconvenience of people who want to hang out there, drinking the coffee, or possibly picking out yet another snack or scratch-off ticket. So much so that 7-Eleven—the world’s largest operator, franchisor, and licensor of convenience stores, with more than 46,000 shops—has an effort in place to try to find non-confrontational ways of ridding their storefronts and stoops of loiterers like teenagers and panhandlers.
The owner of a 7-Eleven in Modesto came up with a genius non-confrontational idea: He blasts classical music, 24-7. The Modesto Bee reports that “Store owner Sukhi Sandhu said the music has been very effective in reducing the number of people loitering and sleeping at the store. He said the music creates a better environment, customers feel safer, and it eliminates any risks clerks face when asking loiterers and panhandlers to leave.” According to the Modesto Bee, “Sandhu said the music is part of a 7-Eleven program that uses non-confrontational methods to reduce loitering and similar behavior.” After kicking off this classical-music blasting last summer, Sandhu says that the method has been so successful, he plans to use it at some of the other 7-Eleven branches he owns.
Sandhu calls it a “win-win”: no confrontation, less loitering. The music is loud enough that it makes conversation difficult, yet pleasing enough that people don’t mind it when they hear it. Because who doesn’t mind a little classical music in the background, so that they can pretend that they’re in a cinematic period drama when they’re actually just buying a Big Gulp?