When was the last time you saw mannequins in a grocery store? If you shop at certain Whole Foods locations you might see them all the time.

Once upon a time health food stores were small, expensive and did not carry a large variety of products. Whole Foods changed all of this. And they are also changing how visual merchandising is done in the grocery industry.

For most grocery retailers, their idea of visual merchandising was to stack merchandise as high as possible at the end of an aisle and put a big sign on it. Whole Foods is taking a different approach at some of their larger locations.

The Whole Foods store in Naples, Florida ordered two mannequins from Mannequin Madness for their health and beauty section. The mannequins are tanned, beautiful and thin – mirroring the hip and youthful clientele that frequents the store.

And the mannequins make a great showcase to display the clothing, jewelry and accessories available for sale in the store. This creates a more interesting display than simply having the items on a hanger or on a shelf. And since these items are much more profitable for Whole Foods to sell than say, produce, so they want to make it appealing for you to buy. They aren’t called Whole Paycheck for nothing.

We think they should have ordered a seated mannequin instead of two standing ones. Can’t you just imagine a mannequin sitting in the middle of all that soap? Or perhaps in a display similar to this one:

We like niche businesses who have become industry leaders as a result of innovation – cause that is what we aspire to be. And we especially like niche businesses that use mannequins for promotional purposes. Today we salute Whole Foods Market because they meet all of this criteria.

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