JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (CBS Local) – A Florida 7-Eleven has come up with a novel way to deal with panhandlers and would-be thieves in their store: play opera music.
The Jacksonville convenience store has reportedly been blasting classical tunes for three weeks in the hopes of encouraging unwanted guests to leave the area. The idea was part of 7-Eleven’s non-confrontational approach to dealing with loiterers.
“We have received very positive feedback from our customers about the atmosphere created by the music devices piloted in several 7-Eleven stores across the U.S.,” 7-Eleven’s corporate office said in a statement obtained by WJAX.
According to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, there have been over two dozen assaults, burglaries, and thefts reported in the area around the store over the last month. The store owner accused local homeless people of regularly harassing customers and leaving trash in the store. Customers had mixed reactions to the opera strategy.
“Do they think the music will drive them away like the birds?” one customer asked reporters. “We’ll see. I don’t think it will work.”
“Every time I come here I’m asked for money, so I would feel safer if it works,” Megan Young, who uses the store’s gas pumps, added.