Several Rite Aid stores across Southern California have been blaring Barry Manilow songs and classical music to fend off loiterers. However, neighbors say the experiment to keep transients away does not seem to be working.
Manilow is probably best known for his early 80’s hit “Copacabana,” but he has had a whopping 47 Top 40 hits. His fans undoubtedly never imagined those hits would be used to try to prevent homeless people from camping out at drug stores.
Responding to complaints from customers about transients loitering outside, Rite Aid started using outdoor speakers at stores in Hollywood, Long Beach and San Diego to play classical music and Manilow songs.
“It does get excessive, but I don’t know if that is the right way to do it,” said Leanzy Peterson, who works in Hollywood and shops at the Rite Aid there. “Maybe the police or somebody should get involved, [but] that’s a little weird.”
NBC4 called all of the Rite Aid stores in Hollywood and Long Beach, which said they are not currently playing music outside. A spokesperson for the company said they are in the early stages of exploring options and the music is just one of them, but they are not currently playing music outside of any of their stores.
Rite Aid also told NBC4 they haven’t made any decisions on the potential rollout of the music approach.