Mannequins have long been a staple of visual merchandising, but as retailers try even harder to lure customers in this post-recession environment, they are turning to new ways of using these classic display fixtures, according to VMSD. The following techniques are some of the hottest mannequin trends of 2012. Will you try any in your store?
Mixing the real with the abstract
Many stores believe they have to choose either sculptural, abstract mannequins or realistic ones. However, one of the trends this year is mixing the two styles. Desigual, a Barcelona-based clothing company known for its vibrant, colorful clothing, uses a mix of abstract and realistic looking mannequins, The theatrical ones are used in the window displays to catch the attention of customers, then the realistic ones are displayed inside the store to give shoppers a better view of the garments.
Stronger in numbers
The visual merchandisers at Saks Fifth Avenue seem to be on to something with their “group theory” of mannequins. The luxury department store displays mannequins in groups and clusters, rather than individuals. Harry Cunningham, senior vice president of store planning, design and visual merchandising at the company, told the news outlet this creates a stronger impact.
Bringing mannequins to life
The improvements in technology have made for new opportunities with visual merchandising, mannequins included. Visual merchandisers at Uniqlo, a fashion retailer in New York City, have gotten their mannequins moving. Some rise and fall with shoppers, others fly or spin. These animated mannequins are arranged in groups and individually, the news outlet reports. Mihee Yi, visual director at Uniqlo-USA in New York, told the news outlet the movement allows customers to see all angles of the look and styling.
Even if you don’t adopt any of the latest trends, always make sure your mannequins’ ensembles are wrinkle-free and complete with accessories before setting them out on the floor.