A key feature of any high street or retail space, mannequins offer more than just a pretty exterior. They are an important visual merchandising tool that can boost sales in your store. By showcasing your wares on lifelike forms, you can show your customers how garments might look on themselves and give them ideas on how to wear them for the best effect.
This is a great way to cross-sell items and encourage impulse buys. The type of mannequin you choose will depend on your business brand and store style. Ultimately, any mannequin is better than no mannequin at all!
But this is not the only way to use mannequins. These visually appealing, but personality-free models have a wide variety of uses that you might not have thought of!
Perhaps one of the most obvious uses for mannequins is as a model for crafting clothing. Items can be made to fit a tailor’s dummy to create a unified sizing approach to various items. Most tailor’s dummies can be adjusted to imitate different-sized people to get the pieces just right.
Mannequins have been used in this way since the 15th century and are almost always made up of a simple torso, without a head, legs, or arms. They are wrapped in fabric, allowing pins to stick into them without damaging them. While these mannequins can be quite expensive to purchase brand new, they are an invaluable tool for couture dressmakers.
2. CPR Trainers
If you’ve ever done a first aid course, chances are you will have practised on a mannequin. These are usually made up of a head and torso and many come complete with realistic breathing action. They are made up of soft plastic-covered foam that imitates the look and feel of human skin. This allows CPR instructors to give the best possible training to prepare first-aid students for real-world interactions.
3. Lifeguard Training
In a similar style, mannequins are often used in lifeguard training. They are heavier than shop mannequins, intended to represent the weight of a human body in the water. Trainee lifeguards are then expected to drag these dummies out of the water, so they understand how to do the same for a human.
4. Crash Test Dummies
These mannequins make up an essential part of vehicle safety tests, created to imitate the size, weight, and bodily movements of real people. This allows assessors to see exactly how the car, and the people within it, might react in the event of a crash. The first crash test dummy was made in 1949. Up until then, testing had been done on humans – both dead and alive. Animals were also sometimes used. Human volunteers are still occasionally used for lower-impact testing.
5. Warfare Mannequins
In World War I, mannequins were often used as a decoy by soldiers, so that enemy fighters would aim their gunfire at them rather than them. They were also useful to use as shields. According to Sofrep, they are still used by militaries around the world today.
6. Artist Models
Have you ever thought about just how hard it would be to stay in the exact same pose for long enough for someone to paint you? Even in the most comfortable of positions, you would start to get restless after a few hours. That is why many artists buy mannequins to sit in their muses’ place. A flexible shop mannequin is perfect, as it can be moved around to get the desired pose, it is lightweight, and it won’t start complaining that the process is taking too long!
7. Theft Deterrent
When you are not at home or in the office for any length of time, it automatically becomes more vulnerable to break-ins. Burglars prefer to attack when a building is unoccupied, simply because there is less risk of being caught in the act. A strategically placed clothes mannequin can create the impression of someone being in, helping to maintain the security of your home or business.
Since these mannequins are not intended for scrutiny, you don’t have to spend a lot on them. Cheap mannequins are perfect for this theft deterrent.
8. Crowd Control
You might have thought that the mannequin market would have taken a downturn during the COVID pandemic, but instead of retail units, it was sports stadiums looking for mannequins for sale. With the lockdown forcing people indoors, but sports games still going ahead, mannequins were used to fill the stadium to give the impression of crowds.
9. Hairdressers and Beauticians
The beauty industry regularly uses mannequin heads to practice new hairstyles, cuts, and beauty looks. You can buy mannequins for this use from most beauty supply stores. Making them an accessible way for students to get experience before being let loose on real people.
Still thinking about your shop display mannequin?
Now that you know all the different ways that mannequins can be used, you are probably still thinking about how you can make the best use of your shop mannequin UK.
When deciding how to use your mannequin, you’ll need to consider factors like space. How much do you have? Where will your mannequin stand – in the window or inside the shop? How many mannequins do you have? If you have more than one, it is nice to have them appear to interact with each other for a more eye-catching display. According to Fibre2Fashion, you should move them around regularly, change the clothes often, and keep them clean, to get the best possible use from your mannequin.
Valentino’s Displays has your next mannequin for sale
However you intend to use your mannequin, you’ll find the perfect partner for your retail store at Valentino’s Displays. Our high-quality mannequins are priced fairly and competitively. We are happy to provide advice or answer any questions you may have. If you need something that you can’t find on our website, we are also happy to fulfil custom orders. Simply get in touch and tell us what you need!