What dull friends! Of course, I am inured to it, as my sister has been dancing in public for the last twenty years
I received a reply from the Waterstones CEO at eleven o'clock last night, and I must say, I can see how he became the CEO of a large chain of shops. I shall copy it here:
We leave each shop to decide whether to play music. The guideline is not to do so unless the shop is in an environment that demands it, for example in a shopping centre with its own music. At the last count, about 60 of our 280 shops were playing music. This is a lot better than the 280 out of 280 that did so when I took over, but I recognise that it will be very annoying for some people (including myself) if you happen to go into one of these 60.
Are they all justified in doing so? Not in my view, but I have determined to run our shops with a very considerable degree of local autonomy. I am obliged by my own rules to respect a local judgement that music is justified and desired by the very great majority of customers.
The only comfort I can offer is that I continue to campaign for silence and steadily have seen success. I will now add consideration of sensory issues. This has not been raised with before.
Which shop is it, incidentally, that you visit? I will pay them special attention.
I am sorry not to answer with more certainty of action.
With kind regards