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?Mannequins have been successfully utilized in the retail world for centuries. The word mannequin literally means little man. Well, these little men have been on display dating back past the 1700's, where wire-framed mannequins were used to displays costumes and other clothing items. Mannequins have been created out of all kinds of material, like wood, wax, wire, plaster, and even fabric. Regardless of which material is being used, the mannequin is here to stay as a retail store display. Several types of mannequins are available to display specific types of merchandise. There are mannequins in men's, ladies and children's forms and even display forms of hands, necks, heads, legs and headless torsos. A good display in any store will always show the merchandise well - the overall effect depends entirely on how well the mannequin is put to use. The merchandise itself is much more important than the mannequins, but you need to know how to set up the mannequins in a creative manner to get the best effect. Every department in your store should treat the mannequins to fit a specific type of merchandise. The selected mannequins, along with the pose, the style of hair and the color of the skin should reflect the merchandise or garment to be displayed. For instance, if your store has a sportswear section, the mannequins will naturally be displayed in active poses. The skin tones of the mannequins should also reflect the active lifestyles of athletes. The wigs for the mannequins should be short - cropped or with ponytails. On the other hand, mannequins in the formalwear department, that display evening gowns and formal apparel, should have more conservative poses. Creative Mannequin Positioning The positioning of mannequins, whether for a window or a floor display, should be done in a very artistic and creative manner. Use your imagination, something out of the norm can catch people's eye and make them take notice. In many cases, you will be limited by certain factors, such as the area where the mannequin will be placed, the lighting and props, the garments or merchandise that should be displayed, and the overall theme of the display. But you can still be both effective and creative. First, take a look at the spot where the mannequin will be placed. The display could be a window or floor display. The window could have an open back or a closed back. The mannequins you select should blend in with the surroundings, and above all they should be eye-catching. Place the mannequins in such a way that they are viewed from the most favorable and attractive angles. After all, the entire purpose of having a window display mannequin is to attract more customers to enter your store from the street and to buy some of your merchandise. If you are considering placing your mannequins in a group, then they should be placed in such a way that they seem like they are interacting with one another. In the 'ladies' section of your store, you could use a combination of male as well as female mannequins; in the 'children's' section, you could place a whole family of mannequins consisting of a mother, father and the children. Finally, it isn't wise to leave your mannequins standing in the same position for too long. Try to rotate them and dress them up in different clothes regularly. Avoid mixing window mannequins with the floor ones. It is always a good idea to clean your mannequins regularly so that they always look fresh. Mannequins are responsible for showing off your merchandise. It is the mannequin that is doing just as much selling as any salesman on the floor. A wise store owner always carefully chooses how their merchandise is displayed, and without a doubt properly using mannequins will surely help. Tim Pelcone consults with retail store owners to improve their merchandising effectiveness. In Sacramento he recommends Capitol Store Fixtures for obtaining store display mannequins. Several styles are available such as mannequin parts to meet your creative needs.
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