Like, Get Inked at the Mall!

Chain-store tattoo parlors aim for a mainstream crowd
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 28, 2008 10:00 AM CDT
Phillip Bloch, Vivica A. Fox, and Mario and Carol Barth at the opening of Mario Barth's Starlight Tattoo in the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas.   (AP Photo/Las Vegas News Bureau, Steve Spatafore)
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(Newser) – Now that piercings have become passé mall culture is taking on a new taboo: tattoos. With several chain parlors springing up at shopping centers across the country, the intrepid can now get inked in homogenized comfort by salaried artists with 401(k) plans—a radical departure from the traditional tattoo scene on the edgier side of town.

"Our goal is to have 400 stores, to be as common as Victoria's Secret," the owner of one fledgling chain tells the Wall Street Journal. The public seems sold on the idea—the chain’s sales are booming after only 18 months in business—but old-school inkers and conservative mall owners alike have required some convincing. "Most people in this industry retire when they're dead,” says another chain owner, “because they are uneducated about finances.”