Mannequins have fascinated mankind for centuries. Indeed, who would have expected that artificial life sized human dolls which nearly look like a statue with/without colours and texture could play a crucial role in setting up the visual merchandise of a retail store?
Yes, they surely do and this industry has grown over a period of time, given the number of players (manufacturers) having been multiplied like never before. A retail store’s merchandising comprises a very essential element and that is mannequins which are not only visible in the windows but also inside the store. We are bound to check out an outlet’s merchandise if the mannequins and the way they are managed with regards to the mix and match of accessories or apparel (among other things) appeals to us! They undoubtedly, set the very first impression to a shopper passing by who has a multitude of brands at his disposal!
It is the basically the kind of demand that comes from the retail outlet (the kind of style that the brand wants to embrace) which sets the pace for choosing the different types that are available. They come in the choices of babies, children, teens, and adults – both male and female. Interestingly, even though the purchase of mannequins can be expensive but they eventually pay for themselves (reaching the break-even point) as sales continue to bring in positive results for the business.
“The latest trends in the mannequins’ market are the shiny, glossy mannequins that are chrome plated. These mannequins do provide a feature of attraction but have less life, and also are not repairable. Another trend in this market is the mannequins with sharp features. To understand better, they are the ones which are kind of realistic. For such features, the retailers prefer the plastic mannequins but it also provides low life with no reparability,” says Harvinder Kaur Chaggar, MD, Chaggars Mannequins. “I have a 10 years’ experience in this market and I have been making fiber glass mannequins only,” shares G. Arvind Srini, spokesperson, Madras Mannequins.
Mannequins (whose price range starts from Rs. 1500 onwards) are bought by the merchants (mostly), on the basis of the merchant’s need and preference. This need is further based on the demand of the store as to what merchandise has to be sold. These mannequins can be available with the supplier or can be made via placing an order. For instance, for displaying jewellery, mainly the heads of the mannequins are utilized which would ensure that the customers concentrate on the appearance of the face and neck with the jewellery set (among other things), regardless of the costume and other aspects of the one who wears the jewelry.
On the same lines, there are different mannequins like – only torso or torso and trunk etc for displaying inner products like innerwear etc. The legs or simply foot (of the mannequins) are used to display footwear. There are also, adjustable mannequins which have numerous separable parts of the human body. One of the advantages of such a model is that only the parts to be targeted can be used and the rest can be eliminated accordingly (to keep the distraction at bay). The USP of these mannequins also remains in the fact that the whole human body can also be organized (as per the requirement) and plenty of display things can be added as per the whole body description.
Chaggar opines, “The market has grown at a very rapid rate. With the new brands getting into the market or the international brands coming to India and opening their showrooms in almost every state has actually increased the market for mannequins. Also, with time, many manufacturers and sellers have joined this market.” She further adds, “We provide the customer with the best quality, best price in conjunction with the added feature of after-sales repairs, if any.”
Use and implication
This kind of direct display (as implied by mannequins) can be very eye catching and highly promoting, giving way to an arrangement, wherein, the merchandise is not shown alone but in a way that shoppers will know and feel how the product would look when put up on a human being. This initiative on the part of the retailers can not only draw increased number of footfalls in the store, but also proves to be an advantage in utilizing a mannequin which a model supplier finally cashes upon.
Mannequins play a significant role in the retail market as it provides a face, expression, a figure to the garment it is wearing and also to the brand. The customers, most of the time sees a mannequin wearing a dress (garment/accessory) which attracts the customer to visit the store or maybe can induce him further to buy the garment as well.
Not to forget the Modelling industry that is embracing mannequins as a replacement to living models in their catalogues which works out cheaper in comparison to exorbitant prices of living models. As retailers are finding new uses of mannequins, the lifeless dolls are infusing a fresh breath of life in the relevant industry.