Wal-Mart Nixes Celine Dion Music in Stores to Boost Employee Morale

Bentonville, AR

If you think shopping to a soundtrack of Celine Dion is trying, then imagine being exposed to her brand of adult contemporary music, day in and day out.

The 47-year-old Canadian pop diva may have fans all over the globe, but Wal-Mart’s 1.2 million U.S. employees can now go back to listening to her hits voluntarily, thanks to one of several new company policies unveiled this week after a shareholder’s meeting in Fayetteville, AR.

Anyone who has ever worked in retail knows after a short period of time the unrelenting sounds of a looped playlist start to mess with your head. Hour after hour, day after day, the repeated tracks change you. They creep inside your psyche and can eventually affect your overall mood and job performance.

A commercialized 8-week Christmas season turns into a nightmare of 12 songs on shuffle.

During a presentation to Wal-Mart employees at the University of Arkansas this week, a puppet character named Willie captured that sentiment, when he joked that being a Wal-Mart employee is getting dangerous, the Washington Post reports.

Executive vice president of supercenters Mike Moore then asked why, to which Willie replied, “One of my fellow associates recently developed a serious eye-tic from hearing Celine Dion’s greatest hits on loop in our stores.”

To break up the monotony and boost employee morale, the retail giant has now announced employees will no longer be subjected to the music of Celine Dion, or 21-year-old pop singer Justin Bieber, whose name also came up.

Starting July 1, Wal-Mart will use a DJ from its corporate marketing department, who will pick the music that is played in all the stores.

The Post reports the Bentonville, AR-based company had previously let stores choose their own music, and that sometimes it led stores to play a single CD on an endless loop.

In addition to adding a corporate emcee, Wal-Mart is hoping more comfortable store temperatures and a new dress code will boost employee enthusiasm.

The company will no longer control store temperatures from its Bentonville headquarters, and is giving each individual store control over its thermostat.

Wal-Mart associates can also now wear black or khaki-colored denim, and those performing manual labor in the back of the store will be permitted to wear blue jeans.