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The San Francisco Chronicle that a Safeway there is annoying its neighbors by blasting classical music in the parking lot - sometimes all night long.

According to the story, "The music is used as a deterrent to loitering in the Safeway store parking lot on Webster Street in the neighborhood south of Geary Boulevard. Its source is a tower in the parking lot containing security cameras and a lone speaker in the shape of a bullhorn.

"The store closes at 11 p.m., but the music can go all night without warning.  It’s been a parking lot feature since February, but for reasons Safeway has declined to explain, the volume was cranked up Friday."

Safeway spokesperson Wendy Gutshall tells the Chronicle, "Since February, live classical music has been played from the unit to deter loitering.  This is a common industry practice. As an ongoing effort we monitor the volume level of the unit and adjust where necessary.”  

Asked why the volume "was cranked up over the past weekend, Gutshall did not respond. Nor did she explain the choice of classical music, as opposed to, say, heavy metal or hard rock. In Australia, some stores blast Barry Manilow to deter loitering."

KC's View:

A couple of things here.

First, is this really common industry practice?  If so, I hope MNB readers will let me know.  Because this is a new one for me.

Second, classical music?  I think of classical music as being soothing, though I suppose it could be annoying if I had to listen to Beethoven's Fifth Symphony all night.

I love that fact that in Australia, when they want to deter loitering, they play Barry Manilow.  That - or maybe constant Neil Sedaka - would send me looking for a friendlier environment.  Imagine if you had to listen to this all night long.