How To Effectively Use Mannequins In The Apparel Industry

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To say the U.S. apparel industry is big would be an understatement. According to Statista.com, Americans spend more than $225 billion on clothes and garment every year -- a number that's expected to grow even larger in the years to come. With such a large, ever-growing industry, apparel retailers are pulling out all the stops to win the hearts of consumers.

Mannequins In The Retail Apparel Industry

While traditional marketing and advertising plays a key role in the success of a retail apparel store, visual merchandising is equally as important. A well-made window display will entice shoppers to step into the store and check out its products. But a poor display will have the opposite effect, sending shoppers out the door and headed to a competitor's store. You can improve the effectiveness of your displays, however, by using mannequins.

While mannequins are used in a variety of applications and industries (e.g. movie props, tailors, museums, seamstress, etc.), they are particularly important in the retail apparel industry. Retailers can use them to display product in a more meaningful and relatable manner, which subsequently boosts sales. Displaying a shirt or garment on a mannequin, as opposed to hanging it on a rack, allows shoppers to see exactly how the item looks on the human body.

Mannequin Tips For Apparel Retailers:

  • Avoid torso-only mannequins and stick with full-body models instead.
  • Enhance your mannequin displays with proper illumination. If the mannequin is set up a dark, shaded area, it will have little-to-no impact on shoppers.
  • If necessary, pin your garments on the mannequin to secure it in place. There's nothing tackier than seeing a shirt, dress or pants falling off a mannequin.
  • Don't underestimate the use of accessories with your mannequin. Even if your primary goal is to display a particular garment, accessories such as hats, handbags and jewelry will improve the aesthetics of your mannequin; thus, making it more effective.
  • Remember to change your mannequin displays on a regular basis. A good rule of thumb is to change your product at least once a month to keep shoppers interested and engaged with the display.
  • Try creating a "theme" with your mannequin displays. One idea is a back-to-school theme, dressing your mannequin(s) in school-appropriate outfits, backpacks and related accessories.

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  • George Blitzer
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