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Merchandising Know-How: The care and feeding of mannequins

There’s a movement afoot to protest the inhumane conditions under which store mannequins have to work. Meanwhile for those of you who use mannequins and find them hard to dress here are some tips I gleaned from a website out of New Zealand...



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There’s a movement afoot to protest the inhumane conditions under which store mannequins have to work. One website strives to make the public aware of the atrocities that mannequins suffer, is fighting to provide mannequins with basic needs such as food and improve their working conditions. If you’re interested in joining the campaign go to www.angelfire.com/ego/feedmanneqs/

Meanwhile for those of you who use mannequins and find them hard to dress here are some tips I gleaned from a website out of New Zealand, www.counteraction.co.nz/visual.htm:

  • Work from the legs up. Put the legs on the base plate with the rod and make certain that all the thumbscrews are tight.
  • If dressing the mannequin with pants or shorts, put the clothing onto the legs before attaching them to the base.
  • Next, attach the torso to the legs and dress it with the top you’ve chosen.
  • Slide the arms down inside the sleeves and slip into position.
  • Fasten buttons and snaps and zip zippers.

When mannequins are not in use, store them carefully. Cover them with a sheet and place in a storeroom area out of high traffic areas. Don’t stack other items against them as they scratch easily.

Cleaning mannequins must be done carefully. Use a soft cloth or soft bristled brush, never an abrasive. A mild detergent will get rid of most stains.

If your mannequins do become damaged you can send them to be refurbished. Prices vary depending on the work to be done.

For a quote contact:

Sharon Leicham’s merchandising column appears twice a month in SNEWS. Leicham is the author of Merchandising Your Way to Success and How to Sell to Women and is a frequent contributor to trade magazines writing on merchandising and marketing topics. She recently launched a website, www.merchandisingHUB.com, with information targeted at the independent specialty retailer.