Here is a case study of an independent retailer, LaNeige Bridal, who saved over $1500 on the 3 mannequins they purchased for their store. LaNeige is a bridal store that will be opening in Boise, Idaho later this year.

This is their “coming soon” window display –  the retail equivalent of a rough draft. It is a very smart move to put up a window display BEFORE the store opens to attract attention.

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As with any new store opening, there are a lot of upfront costs. And too many retailers make the mistake of waiting until the final weeks (or days) before their store opens before they think about what their window display will look like -and what it will cost. Then they are scrambling to put something together with limited funds. Needless to say, this leads to mixed results.

Your shop windows are the first thing your potential customer will see. So rather than being an afterthought they need to be considered right up there with the other important decisions – like your inventory.

So here is what LaNeige Bridal did regarding their mannequins which allowed them to save so much money.

First they took time to consider what style of mannequin would be consistent with their brand. Since they are selling couture wedding gowns, this requires a different type of mannequin than if they were selling sportswear or were selling to a teen market.

The style of mannequin is not just the color and design of the mannequin but includes features such as will the mannequin have formed hair or a wig? What type of pose should the mannequin be in and should they all be standing or should some be seated?

IMG_4335Note – it is always better to have a variety of poses in the window instead of having the mannequins all in an upright, arms down military pose. You want to do more than “show” your good, you want to sell “emotion” because people buy more when they are touched on an  emotional level.

 Also the more expensive the clothing, means you need a more expensive looking mannequin. That is why the mannequins you see at Neiman Marcus are different than the ones you see at JC Penney.

And one way to get an expensive mannequin at a discount price is to buy “pre-owned” designer mannequins that you can find on Ebay or from mannequin recycling companies like us. Designer mannequins are made by companies such as:

Rootstein   CNL   Pucci  Greneker  Patina V  Goldsmith  Schlappi  Fusion Specialities

These mannequins sell between $700-$1200. The fiberglass on these is thicker than the cheaper mannequins and the attachment fittings are made out of metal, versus aluminum. The overall craftsmanship on these brands is outstanding.

They can withstand the handling that takes place in a busy retail environment, so they are not as likely to break, fall apart or fade like cheaper mannequins.

But since most small retailers don’t have that type of budget for their mannequins, they do what LaNeige Bridal did and they started looking for “pre-owned” mannequins. But in order to find the right pre-owned mannequin at the right price, you need some advance planning.

2That is why waiting until the last minute to buy your mannequins doesn’t allow you to get the best deals. It is kinda like buying a particular used Mercedes versus a new Toyota. You can go numerous Toyota dealers to buy a new one, but to find a used Mercedes with all the features you want, you need to shop around a bit because they aren’t as readily available.

 Once LaNeige Bridal decided what brand and style of mannequin they wanted, they started searching online to find vendors who sold used mannequins.

In addition to bookmarking the used mannequin section of our website, they liked our Facebook Page where we post new arrivals before they hit our website. They saw this bevy of mannequins and they asked us if we had one in the collection in a seated pose. (we did)

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Normally these Patina V mannequins would cost $750 brand new but we were selling them for $175 each plus shipping. One of the mannequins had some damage on her (which would not be visible with a bridal gown on) so we sold her for $125.

And we offer the Bill Me Later feature thru Paypal which allowed LaNeige the option to getting the mannequins but not be billed for them for six months. Sweet! Needless to say they are quite the happy and savvy storeowner.

Let us help you save on your next mannequin purchase. We sell new mannequins too, but the best value is with used mannequins.

Allow plenty of time to search for the brand of used mannequins you want, but when you find what you are looking for, don’t hesitate!

We had about 15 of the Patina V mannequins in stock and within the two weeks that it took LaNeige to finalize their decision, we had only 5 left. So they weren’t able to get all of their first choices. So needless to say, if you snooze you lose.

 

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Patrick
Patrick
7 years ago

Hello thank you for your blogs! Can you help me how to control a window mannequin cameleon Goldsmith?

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