Why are mannequins important in visual merchandising?


Walk past any high street clothing retailer, and you’ll see mannequins in the window displays and throughout their store, wearing garments from the latest collection. These are not just used to make the store look nice – each one has a very important merchandising role.

By carefully selecting the clothes to be displayed, store managers can help customers see how they might look on the body. These are likely to become the best-selling products, encouraging impulse buys as customers walk past and notice the garment. Styling is important too – you can easily promote an entire outfit on a poseable mannequin, boosting profits with ease.

And it’s about more than just clothes. Style your mannequin with accessories like scarves, glasses, jewellery, and even things like water bottles or home accessories and watch as sales soar!

Are Mannequins Really that Good?

USA Today suggests that mannequins were instrumental in the turnaround of the American chain store Target. The budget retail empire never used to spend much on merchandising, relying on the low prices of their wares to draw in customers.

However, after taking some time to narrow down the brand’s core categories, Target filled its stores with appropriate mannequins. Customers were delighted with the inclusivity of these mannequins, seeing themselves in these models and appreciating the clothes they were wearing. Currently, 1400 of 1800 stores have mannequins in them and have noticed a rise in sales as a result.

According to Fortune.com, sales rose by 30% by adding mannequins. Target CEO Brian Cornell puts it down to making it easier for customers to find what they want. When faced with rails and rails of clothes, the customer has to work hard to rifle through the racks. A mannequin shows them whether or not it is worth it by displaying some of the wares they might find in there.

Are Male Mannequins as Effective as Female Mannequins?

Although women are more prone to hitting the shops for a touch of retail therapy than men, a male mannequin can be a very useful tool in men’s retail. Men tend to prefer quick wins when it comes to shopping, while women are happier to trawl through the rails. So, seeing a mannequin wearing an outfit that they might want to wear will save them browsing the whole shop. As long as you position the shop mannequin close to the items it is wearing, you will boost sales this way.

Mannequin styling is all the more important here. Make sure you get your visual merchandising spot-on to appeal to your target customer.

The Other Benefits of Fashion Mannequins

And there’s more! As well as helping to boost sales, mannequins also:

  • Make your shop look busy: Too much empty space in a shop can feel intimidating to customers. They feel watched and exposed. While some space is important to allow customers to walk around easily, it is important to get the balance right. Add a mannequin for clothes here and there, and you will fill some of those larger spaces for the best possible atmosphere.
  • They drive traffic to the store: A strategically placed shop mannequin in the window can encourage passers-by to walk into your store. Don’t worry if they don’t buy today, they’ll remember that outfit and return another time.
  • They set the tone for the store: Make sure your mannequins are on brand and in line with your store aesthetic, and you will ensure the most polished finish for your apparel business.
  • They represent a low initial investment with long-term benefits: Even cheap mannequins will provide a decent return on investment as they work to boost profits. That being said, look for mannequins for sale with a high-quality build, as these will last much longer, giving you more years of service.

Does the Type of Mannequin Matter?

You might think that you want to spend as much as possible when you buy mannequin models. But if the mannequin for sale doesn’t match your store aesthetic, you won’t be getting the best value for your money.

Your mannequin choice offers a chance to make a statement. While black and white mannequins are the norm, you might want to show uniqueness with a coloured mannequin body. You can choose to show representation by using skin-coloured mannequins with a range of skin types. Or, you think it is a good idea to choose a female mannequin male customers might like, showing you are a brand that accepts a diverse range of genders. Or perhaps you’ll go down the plus-size route, showing that you can help your customers look and feel good, no matter their size.

There is no pressure to choose a mannequin that represents anything – it can simply be a way to boost sales. But you should still be looking for styles that match your brand identity. As Mannequin Mall suggests, your models should tell a story through their poses and clothing. This is a great opportunity to get creative!

And budget is always a consideration, but cheapest isn’t always best. If your purse strings are tight, consider waiting for a mannequin sale to get higher quality for a lower price.

What Kind of Mannequins Can I Find at Valentinos?

As the number one mannequin shop on the internet, there is not a mannequin style available that we do not stock. We have mannequins in all shapes and sizes, different genders, ages, and colours.

Which one of our mannequins you choose will depend on what your store sells and the style that matches your brand. We have mannequin torsos and heads, as well as separate mannequin limbs that are ideal for accessories.

If you need a little extra help, we are just at the end of the phone or email! Valentino Displays is keen to ensure that every customer leaves our online store with exactly what they came for. If that requires a little extra effort on our part, then we are only too happy to help.

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