HMV bans staff from showing tattoos

High street music retailer has strict new 'appearance policy'

Employees at high street music retailer HMV have been told they may not have garish tattoos or long hair on display, reports The Sun.

In a not-very rock ‘n’ roll move, the chain has reportedly issued a new “appearance policy” which dictates that staff must be neat and clean – and wear new trainers. Men must wear blue denim jeans and women must wear denim skirts.

They say “discreet” tattoos or piercings are allowed but “extreme body art” must be removed or covered up. The bosses expect “high standards of personal grooming”.

One staff member told The Sun: “We’ve got new management. It’s ridiculous and discrimination.”

An HMV spokesperson told NME: “Media reports on this have been somewhat sensationalised, and we’re not
trying to ban tattoos or anything else for that matter, but if someone does have extensive body art – whether instore or at head office, we would expect them to cover this up whilst working. More discreet tattoos and piercings are not an issue so long as people look smart. It goes without saying that we want our work colleagues to feel valued as individuals who can express their personalities, but it’s also important that we balance this against the needs and expectations of our customers, who, ultimately, have to be at the heart of everything we do.”

Last month, branches of HMV were targeted by the group Abuse Sticks Out, which defaced copies of albums and DVDs by various male artists with stickers which read: “WARNING: Do not buy this album! This man beats women!”