It’s no secret that physical sales of CDs and DVDs are on the decline, with more people opting to pay online, downloading either illegally or legally or simply turning to Youtube and movie websites. So surely the logic for a company with declining sales such as HMV, would be to work on pulling more customers through the doors. There’s a variety of ways to do this, whether it’s bigger offers, free stuff when you spend a certain amount etc. HMV have even branched out into selling gig tickets, working with the HMV Institutes that have been popping up across the country. But really, it doesn’t even need to be that strenuous. It simply needs to be a place where people want to go.
Today, a new HMV policy came to light, meaning tattoos and piercings are to remain hidden. There are also guidelines being implemented in regards to the length of hair for male members of staff. Now, while a vast majority of businesses prefer to hide tattoos and piercings in the work place, surely a store that sells a variety of different music, an aspect that is one of the greatest forms of self expression, should allow their members of staff their individuality. As a company that has to contend with the ever moving online industry, why on earth have they started moving backwards in their approach to modernity?
While there is blatant discrimination against tattoos and piercings for staff, what about the customers who have these too? It’s not possible to discriminate against their staff without being ridiculously hypocritical. HMV only stand to shoot themselves in the foot via implicitly rejecting the representation of their key demographic. If they are condemning the exposure of individual expression in these forms, who on earth are they, as a company, to continue making profit by selling merchandise, music and videos of particular artists who have tattoos and piercings, right through from Metallica to Cheryl Cole?
‘Discrimination’ of tattoos and piercings in the workplace still remains to be a controversial topic. While I agree that there are definitely boundaries in which it is and isn’t appropriate, I am in full agreement of those who are baffled and disappointed in HMV’s decision to adopt the corporate look. I really hope they come to revise their decision and that somewhere, acceptance of expression will become the ‘norm’ in these types of businesses.