Shop assistant banned from wearing 'non-uniform' poppy

A shop assistant working at a top fashion store has been banned from wearing a Remembrance Day poppy at work as bosses insisted it was "not part of her uniform".

poppies for the Poppy Appeal
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Harriet Phipps works as a 'model' at Hollister, part of the Abercrombie and Fitch chain, wearing the store's key looks to entice the customers.

But when the 18-year-old turned up with the poppy pinned to her clothes, managers promptly asked her to remove it. She was understandably furious.

"I think it's disgusting, I think it's awful," Miss Phipps told the Daily Mail. "I feel it's very important, it is only for two weeks so it's not permanent.

"It is a personal issue and I feel very strongly about it - I have a friend who is serving in Afghanistan and another friend, a girl, who is going out to fight there, as well as my granddad who fought in the war."

Managers at the Southampton store explained to Harriet that the poppy was "not uniform" and company policy meant it was forbidden. First asked to remove the poppy last Thursday Miss Phipps was told a second time when she refused to back down.

So far, management at the store have declined to comment.

However, TUC general secretary Brendan Barber called the ban "outrageous".

"Wearing a poppy brings the whole nation together to honour those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. Poppies may not be cool enough for Hollister or Abercrombie & Fitch, but they suit the rest of us very well."

Company policy is all very well but bosses at Abercrombie & Fitch would do well to consider just how the ban will be perceived by their customers, most of whom are no doubt wearing a poppy in honour of the fallen and those that are fighting for their country.

What do you think? Is the poppy ban outrageous or reasonable given company policy? Leave your comments below...