Multiple Walgreens stores across Chicago have taken a rather atypical approach to combat loitering — one that involves music.
Locations in River North and Greektown recently started blaring classic tunes on their exterior speakers in an effort to discourage people from loitering.
In a statement, a Walgreen’s spokesperson said a recorded music loop that plays classical music outside of some stores has been implemented to deter loitering.
The spokesperson added that the retailer is taking steps to ensure the music is only loud enough for the immediate area around the store and cannot be heard in surrounding neighborhoods.
Some experts told NBC Chicago that the technique is nothing new, and it has had some success in other places.
“It works for the wrong reasons,” said Lily Hirsch, a musicology and author of the book “Music in American Crime Prevention and Punishment.”
Hirsch said the music is going to move the problem, and it’s not going to solve anything.
“It’s being used to demarcate space and tell certain people that ‘this is not your place. You need to leave,'” she said.
But for some residents of Greektown, the music meant to deter is starting to attract.
“Kind of makes me want to congregate around the store, so I don’t know,” one person said.
Another commented that it doesn’t bother him too much.
“I can stand here all day I think,” said Wade Styles.