Pret a Manger's NYC stores playing Christmas music in August

Aug. 26, 2013 at 12:56 PM
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NEW YORK, Aug. 26 (UPI) -- They say Christmas starts a little earlier every year but one Manhattan eatery has taken it to an entirely new level, playing Christmas carols in August.

Pret a Manger, a gourmet fast food chain, had confused customers taking to Twitter to express their displeasure with "Walking in a Winter Wonderland," "The Twelve Days of Christmas" and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" playing in the store.

"I've heard of Christmas in July, but this is August," customer Sean Harper told the New York Post after walking out of the store Sunday.

Workers confirmed the music had been playing at several of Pret a Manger's locations in Manhattan. The company offices were closed Sunday and a spokesman couldn't be reached to comment.

The music piped into the stores is controlled off-site, meaning staff at the restaurants weren't able to change it -- though one manager took matters into his own hands and simply unplugged the system and went with silence instead.

"I heard it, and I was like 'OK, maybe it'll go away,'" said Robert Plumley, manager of the store at 17th Street and Broadway. "But then we have the little box and after about an hour-and-a-half, I was like, 'It's time to go.' I love the music, but I just figured ... it's too early."

Plumley said he assumed it was a programming mistake by the people in charge of the music selection.

"I'm thinking they probably were getting it ready for Christmas, and somebody probably forgot to switch it back over," he said. "It had to be an honest mistake."

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