Thursday, September 10, 2009

Bringing Life to Retail Mannequins

Mannequins can be one of your greatest selling tools or they can sit and collect dust. Make sure that you are utilizing your mannequins and letting them bring life to your window displays.

The trick is to really give them some movement. You can dress them in your latest fashions, but if they rarely change positions then they won’t attract any attention. Mannequins have long been recognized as the number one selling tool when it comes to store displays. There are a few reasons for this.

The first reason is rather obvious, they help customers to quickly see what garments look like when worn. For flowing, delicate fabrics, using a mannequin is a must. On a hanger, some clothes just look very limp and uninteresting. But, on a mannequin or even a torso form, the clothing is suddenly given shape, depth and texture. So, instantly you’ve improved the appearance of the garment simply by displaying it differently.

Giving your mannequins movement will help to draw the eye. What we mean by movement, is to make the mannequins seem like they are in motion, or engaged in some sort of scenario. This may not be totally necessary for every mannequin in your store, but for your window displays or feature displays, it really does make a difference.

For example, if you are promoting back to school wear, then the mannequins should be doing more than just wearing a back pack. Think about what customers are looking for in back to school clothes. Parents may be looking for nicer clothing at a reasonable price, while students want to feel like they fit in. Try to anticipate all of the needs that the buyers will be looking to fulfill. Children’s mannequins in this case, may be wearing well-made clothing, but participating in a social scene, like hanging out around the lockers. Customers are subconsciously influenced by the types of feelings they get when looking at a display.

Another example is formal wear. Girls looking for prom dresses could be influenced by mannequins that are engaged in a romantic dance. Or, they may be looking to have a good time with their girlfriends, and could be more influenced by other girl mannequins admiring their dress. Come up with a theme that will help your shoppers envision what it would be like to actually wear that dress and experience what the mannequin is experiencing.

There is power in giving personality and movement to your mannequins. Most shoppers know within two seconds of looking at a garment if they are interested or not. Mannequin displays help to hold that interest and tease the thought processes that customers go through when deciding whether or not to make a purchase.

About the Author: Ron Maier is the Vice President of S & L Store Fixtures, a leading online resource for retail display cases including mannequins, mannequin forms, gridwall and slatwall store fixtures. For more information, please visit

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