Shopping at Aritzia is not only about finding that Talula Waverly Blouse for tomorrow night’s dinner party, it’s also about taking a journey through a store familiar to customers for its compelling soundtrack – music that customers will even tweet about.

Aritzia certainly attributes most of its success to its in-demand, fashionable urban attire, but also credits music for adding to its lounge-like store experience, employing a Music Director to curate and personalize each store’s playlist.

“We keep the music up-tempo, sexy, and relevant so our shoppers are excited to be in the store.”

“Our music program, like our windows, is meant to attract customers into our stores as they walk by,” says Music Director for Aritzia Sarah Lewitinn. “Countless customers have tweeted about walking into our stores because they heard a mixtape they loved, an artist they adore, songs that they can’t get enough of, and tunes they’ve never heard and are suddenly obsessed with.”

Founded by Brian Hill in Vancouver in 1984, the fashion boutique has been in business for 30 years, and has a growing portfolio of 60 stores across North America, including a 13,000-square-foot flagship store in perhaps the world’s most music-friendly city, Manhattan.

Aritzia curates each store’s playlist with its specific buyer demographic in mind – those between ages 15 and 30, with a modest budget, eager to be seen as uniquely independent, and open to discovering the terrific music playing in the background.

“With so many options to choose from, standing out from the crowd and attracting customers is crucial for all retailers, including Aritzia. We keep the music up-tempo, sexy, and relevant so our shoppers are excited to be in the store,” says Lewitinn.

A recent SOCAN study suggests that business owners feel music plays a vital role in the type of customer experience they want to create. For Aritzia, this couldn’t be more true.

“Aritzia is a business that understands completely the essential role that music can play in creating an optimal customer experience,” says Jennifer Brown, Vice President of Licensing at SOCAN. “Fine-tuning a music selection to appeal to specific customer demographics can be a make-or-break business decision. When it comes to music in business, a strategic approach definitely counts – and has the potential to dramatically affect the bottom line.”

The retail leader also considers the ears of its almost 2,000 retail staff, saying “By keeping our music fast-paced, our sales staff is kept happy and light on their toes, dancing around the store as they help our customers.”

Since music is key to the Canadian retailer’s success, being Licensed to Play music with SOCAN ensures that the songwriters, composers, and music publisher heard playing in its stores are fairly compensated for their extraordinary talent and hard work.

Taking it a step further, the fashion brand dedicates an entire section of its online magazine to music, calling it “In Review: Music.”

How you can make the most of music in your business – Tips from an expert

Sarah Lewitinn is a distinguished record producer, DJ (@ultragrrrl), music critic and Music Director for Artizia. Lewitinn recognizes the value that music can have on business, and works strategically with the Canadian fashion brand to ensure the music played in its stores adds the desired overall customer experience. SOCAN asked Lewitinn to share a few tips that SOCAN licensed businesses can use to optimize their music use:

  1. “Know your customer! It’s important to have an idea of what kind of music your clientele likes listening to when they’re not shopping so they feel at home within your stores.”
  2. “Up-tempo music makes the shopping experience more exciting and sexy, giving the client the most idealized version of how your product makes them feel.”
  3. “Keep things fresh! It’s great to update the music as often as possible because, not only does it reflect on your brand as being current, but it also rescues your staff from getting bored from hearing the same music over and over again.”