"Some research has shown that people drink more when music is loud; one study found that people chewed faster when tempos were sped up. Armed with this knowledge, some bars, retailers and restaurants are finely tuning sound systems, according to audio engineers and restaurant consultants.
“Think about places where they’re trying to get you in and out as quickly as possible,” said John Mayberry, an acoustical engineer in San Marino, Calif., who has railed against what he terms the “weaponization” of audio. “It’s real obvious what their intentions are.”
"At the Abercrombie flagship on a recent afternoon, a preteen girl plunged wide-eyed into the darkness as loud beats poured from dozens of speakers. Her mother and her grandmother trailed her. The grandmother, Nancy Hilem, 56, of Bucks County, Pa., said they had been in the shop 10 minutes but it felt as if it had been an hour because of the noise. Normally calm — she works at a funeral parlor — Ms. Hilem found herself jumpy. “I can’t concentrate,” she said. “I can’t focus on what I want to buy because of the noise. I want to say to her, ‘Just find something, I’ll buy anything, let’s just get out!’ ”
According to Mr. Mayberry, that is exactly what Abercrombie wants: for loud music to keep out older people while teenagers venture in with their parents’ credit cards. “You can control your audience,” he said. “If you want young people in there, give them a specific type of sound.”