Entertainment retailer HMV is courting controversy after reportedly banning employees from displaying tattoos and having long hair and staff have now hit back at the new rules.
An open letter to CEO Trevor Moore, the ex-Jessops chief who took over the role in September, criticises the retailer’s decision and claims that focusing on the needs of “loyal customers” should be a priority for the beleaguered business.
According to The Sun, the anonymous letter calls for a rethink and highlights the difficult position of HMV staff across the UK.
The letter reads: “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.”
Last month, the music specialist reported a 14.8 per cent total sales decline though the soft-launch of its online marketplace earlier this month seeks to improve its standing in an increasingly digital market.
Commenting on the latest furore, an HMV spokesperson told Retail Gazette: “We have made it very clear that we have not banned tattoos or long hair; we have just updated our policy though it has always been there.
“Where a person has extensive tattoos, we feel it should be covered up in order to appeal to as many people as possible as a high street retailer.”