You're no dummies: Mannequin tips for your showroom

Publish Date: 
Oct 4, 2010

We asked, you delivered — and we’re pleased to find out that you really have your thinking caps on when it comes to creative mannequin displays. Here are just some of our favorites.

1. Customers stopping into Indian Motorcycle Charlotte in Lowell, N.C., are greeted by this shade-wearing local. 2. Steve Seltzer Honda in Altoona, Penn., fashions a camo-clad UTV driver. 3. Neither bird nor plane graces the sky at Tousley Motorsports in White Bear Lake, Minn. Rather, a dirtbike aerial display evokes a rider catching air. 4. Maxim Honda in Allen, Texas, inspires customers to buy anti-theft products, including OnGuard locks and the LoJack security system. 5. This buxom babe greets everyone who walks through the doors of Custom Hotrod & Cycle Shop of Butler, Penn.


Dealernews columnist Eric Anderson’s 25 years of apparel experience means he’s no stranger to dressing mannequins for effective displays. “Mannequins transform two-dimensional flat jackets and pants into lifelike three-dimensional human forms,” he says. “The customer’s eye is caught much more effectively with 3D than 2D.”

A couple of Eric’s tips:

To save money, you can make your own jacket mannequin with two pillows and some newspaper. Simply zip up the jacket around the pillows, and stuff crumpled newspaper into jacket sleeves. Zip tie the jacket to some slatwall of gridwall stays and voila, you have a 3D look.

Group mannequins in families. Men, women, youth, all can be arranged creatively in one display to show the full range of a brand’s (or multiple brands’) offerings. The trick is to sell the lifestyle. “Harley stores don’t sell motorcycles,” Anderson says. “They sell the lifestyle first, and the parts and pieces to go with that lifestyle.”

This story originally appeared in the Dealernews October 2010 issue.