Mannequins have been successfully utilized in the retail world for centuries. The word mannequin literally means little man. Well, these little men have been on display dating back past the 1700's, where wire-framed mannequins were used to displays costumes and other clothing items. Mannequins have been created out of all kinds of material, like wood, wax, wire, plaster, and even fabric. Regardless of which material is being used, the mannequin is here to stay as a retail store display.
Several types of mannequins are available to display specific types of merchandise. There are mannequins in men's, ladies and children's forms and even display forms of hands, necks, heads, legs and headless torsos. A good display in any store will always show the merchandise well - the overall effect depends entirely on how well the mannequin is put to use.
The merchandise itself is much more important than the mannequins, but you need to know how to set up the mannequins in a creative manner to get the best effect. Every department in your store should treat the mannequins to fit a specific type of merchandise. The selected mannequins, along with the pose, the style of hair and the color of the skin should reflect the merchandise or garment to be displayed.
For instance, if your store has a sportswear section, the mannequins will naturally be displayed in active poses. The skin tones of the mannequins should also reflect the active lifestyles of athletes. The wigs for the mannequins should be short - cropped or with ponytails. On the other hand, mannequins in the formalwear department, that display evening gowns and formal apparel, should have more conservative poses.
Creative Mannequin Positioning
The positioning of mannequins, whether for a window or a floor display, should be done in a very artistic and creative manner. Use your imagination, something out of the norm can catch people's eye and make them take notice. In many cases, you will be limited by certain factors, such as the area where the mannequin will be placed, the lighting and props, the garments or merchandise that should be displayed, and the overall theme of the display. But you can still be both effective and creative.
Considering where the mannequin will be placed could be the most important decision in your store's floor design. Do you plan on using mannequins on the floor as a display, or as an eye-catcher in the window. Consider whether the window has an open or closed back because that will change what kind of mannequin to use. Mannequins displayed on the floor should blend in with the theme and color scheme of the rest of the floor. The whole point to a mannequin, whether on the floor or in the window, is to catch a shopper's eye and entice them to buy the displayed product.
If you are considering placing your mannequins in a group, then they should be placed in such a way that they seem like they are interacting with one another. In the ‘ladies’ section of your store, you could use a combination of male as well as female mannequins; in the ‘children's’ section, you could place a whole family of mannequins consisting of a mother, father and the children.
Finally, it isn't wise to leave your mannequins standing in the same position for too long. Try to rotate them and dress them up in different clothes regularly. Avoid mixing window mannequins with the floor ones. It is always a good idea to clean your mannequins regularly so that they always look fresh.
Because mannequins actively display your merchandise to your prospective customers, they are more important than you might think. Paying attention to the way your mannequins represent your business is sure to pay off in the form of increased customers and sales.
Tim Pelcone consults with retail store owners to improve their merchandising effectiveness. In Sacramento he recommends Capitol Store Fixtures for obtaining display mannequins . Several styles are available such as male mannequin to meet your creative needs.