HMV staff write open letter over tattoo ban

30 October 2012

flag tattoo manWhen HMV issued a new appearance code for staff, effectively banning their staff from having tattoos, they invariably detect a shitstorm heading their way.

Basically, a place that sells rock 'n' roll records banning tattoos was always going to stick in the craw of people and, given that HMV already look woefully out of touch at the moment, this decision turned into a PR disaster.

And now, the staff at the store are kicking off too, in an open letter.

The anonymous open letter says: "I wouldn't expect to be greeted by a tattooed punk in my bank, I wouldn't expect to be welcomed into my underwear shop by a nun and I certainly would not expect to be met by a shop full of identical, corporate automatons in HMV."

That doesn't make any sense, but there you go. The letter goes on: "There is little support or understanding behind your new policies. Do you not think that in the current difficult retail environment your priorities should lie with your loyal customers? The customers who continue to shop in your stores despite the ever-growing online market that offers significantly cheaper products."

"You may suggest that these changes are being made for the sake of your customers, but I ask you, how many complaints have actually been made regarding tattoos etc? Do you not think this is a slap in the face to staff who provide some of the best customer service and knowledge on the high street?"

"And they do this every day despite ongoing fear of losing their jobs due to HMV’s position. This uproar is driven by passion from those who don’t want to lose their HMV."

HMV, with a £16.2million annual loss there.

TOPICS:   High Street News


  • Badger
    When I am King, it will be the law that anyone wanting a tattoo must have a second one on their forehead reading "I am stupid".
  • Mustapha S.
    "Do you not think this is a slap in the face to staff who provide some of the best customer service and knowledge on the high street?” Did well until that point.
  • Kevin
    And HMV say, do you want a job, do you? Well if you don't you know where the door is ;)
  • first l.
    - Visit Sun website - Highlight text - Copy - Paste in to Word - Rewrite introduction - Link to source somewhere in text (this makes copying ok, kids) - Publish. *sterling* effort chaps.
  • oliverreed
    @Badger good call but sadly there won't be room as I'll be branding them with "I'm a cunt" above their eyebrows. People get tattoos then dress accordingly, t-shirts with really mincey length short sleeves or worst still rolled up to show of their ink, low cut necks to show off those back and chest mindless tattoos, oh and nobody wants to see those tramp stamps when you bend over love. They should ban piercings to rid them of the other 50% of baggage they call staff.
  • Spencer
    I for one can't wait. I'm fed up of having to buy my cd's online. but I'm not shopping anywhere where I might be served by someone wearing a tattoo or unorthodox piercing. so at the moment I have no choice. what I need is to be served by a well groomed person in a shop... I'd gladly pay 2x the online cost.
  • Spencer
    I don't care about the lack of selection. the inability to listen to the whole thing before I buy it. the inconvenience of having to drive out somewhere.... the cost of fuel and parking... the 'comical' pricing strategy... no no.... facial hair, ink and piercings is wicks keeping me away.
  • Mike M.
    Spencer is a winker
  • ted c.
    I've just had a nice tattoo put on my neck and everyone likes it and now my employer HMV is telling me to wear a scarf or jumper to cover . I'm going to take this to court about my human rights being abused.
  • Fox s.
    Doubt it will matter, at the rate high street retail is dying the HMV staff will be lucky to have a job at all next year. Tatts or not it seems that the British weekend habit of "shopping" will soon be gone. Pity that all there will be to replace it is jobs in warehouse after warehouse shifting Chinese crap onto lorries. Well until they decide to cut costs and get a robot to do it. As for music dowloads great for ease of use but what happens when no one has the cash to buy them anymore. This race to the digital age is short sighted in the extreme.
  • Gabriella C.
    But it does matter. The needs of the business come first. Without sounding snobbish it would put me off being served by someone with very visible facial tattoos. It may be discriminatory but if you are in a face to face role it isn't seen as acceptable and some people find it aggressive and scary. Maybe I am old fashioned, and I have no personal problems with someone with a tattoo that is covered up or on their arm but not on the face. In terms of the person saying it's a breach of human rights. I think you will find under employment law it isn't unreasonable for an employer to expect a member of staff to be of proper appearance. It's not just HMV that are insisting on this but public sector employer's too. At the end of the day, HMV staff should count themselves lucky they still have a job. Not being rude but if it wasn't for the 2 cd's for 10 I would always buy from Amazon. No one owes HMV a living and the staff need to comply with their employer's demands and accept some of the customers those who are not the teenagers or young people but people 30 plus who like, used and still want to use record stores don't want to be offended with large tattoos which could have offensive messages or be offensive. Staff are there because of their customers. Without customers it will be bye bye job, and bye bye HMV as the staff of Comet will soon find out.

What do you think?

Connect with Facebook, Twitter, or just enter your email to sign in and comment.

Your comment