Nowadays, it is hard to imagine a modern shopping center, retail store or department store without mannequin displays, irrespective whether we speak about mannequin displays of females, males or children. Display dummies started their triumphal advance as an effective advertising medium in the retail sector more than one hundred years ago. Of course, the appearance has changed constantly in the course of time, caused by the ever changing trends in the areas of fashion and window-dressing. While for example, well fed mannequins were the established ideal of beauty in the fifties of the past century, nowadays, slender display dummies are ‘en vogue’. Newer trends in the design of display dummies seem to drift in the direction of stylised, futuristic designs. Leading fashion boutiques are utilising increasingly store mannequins in black, white, silver or transparent, more than often just with an indicated face. So obviously, visual merchandising seems to more and more employ mannequins with a minimalistic design opposed those such with a realistic appearance.
Irrespective of the gender of the store mannequin, the corpus is most often produced from a special plastic material, which is reinforced with fiberglass. By using a baseplate made from sheet metal or glas and a solid connection to the display dummy via a bolt to the calf or the foot, a stable and secure stand of the mannequin is achieved. Notwithstanding, most of the mannequins can be presented dressed with shoes. Usually, store mannequins will not consist of just one part, but can rather be disassembled into multiple parts, thus simplifying the handling; most often without the need for additional tools.
These days, lifelike mannequin displays are showing a surprisingly high level of detail, with many mannequin being equipped with a vivid facial expression and realistic eyelashes. If complemented by a good looking wig, a nearly perfect illusion can be created. One could receive the impression, that an incarnated fashion model is standing in front of you. Window dressers are resonsible for the creation of a proper stage for the newest fashion trends. They are the ones presenting mannequins in different arrangements in shop windows and showrooms, often inspired by everyday situations, so that the showcased apparel and accessory are shown to advantage.
One thing is for sure: the success of retailers can often be traced back to professional visual merchandising stimulating the imagination of the customer, thus being an essential means of initiating a sale. However, the costs of trademarked mannequin displays are everything but cheap. If you shy away from procuring some for your retail store, the best advice that can be given is either to look for used or refurbished mannequins, as they usually can be bought for a fractino of the former retail price or alternatively, to take a look at the range of products offered by less known producers or distributors of store mannequins for usually reasonable prices. So, to make things short: in my opinion there is no valid reason to abstain from using the sales stimulating impact of visual merchandising in general and display dummies in special and by doing so, giving your competition an unwanted, possibly crucial edge.