A luxury shopping experience is not just about the luxury goods themselves. It is about receiving special attention from luxury retailers. The quality of such a shopping experience is also impacted by the retail outlet itself. Plush interiors and a stylish ambience encourage luxury buyers to go out on a limb during their shopping expeditions. And now, custom-made mannequins could soon add a new dimension to shopping at high-end stores.
A Colorado-based mannequin maker has diversified into creating special life-like mannequins that attract more customers to retail outlets. Fusion Specialties is already one of the largest custom mannequin makers in the world. But as demand for custom mannequins increases in the retail market, business for Fusion Specialties is likely to improve by leaps and bounds.
Already, companies like Disney have snapped up the company’s bespoke mannequins. A Disney store in Southern California has been redesigned in a bid to make the shopping experience a lot more fun for younger shoppers. Thus, there are child-sized mannequins in a variety of action poses. While some of the childlike mannequins curtsey, others chase balloons and yet another sits cross-legged atop a plastic white castle in a blue Cinderella dress. The mannequins, which are inspired by children at play, encourage young shoppers to interact with merchandise like a talking mirror and a range of other cool products.
The mannequins used by Disney are modeled after children at play. The idea is to interest Disney’s target audience to explore the store better, try out different products and generally enjoy a great shopping experience. Most children dislike shopping. But efforts like this go a long way in helping retailers grab the attention and stoke the imagination of these young shoppers. Since the redesign of 32 Disney stores took place, these stores have witnessed a rise in the sales volumes for swimwear and costumes displayed on the mannequins. The management is currently crediting the life-like mannequins with the rise in sales.
At the same time, these custom-built mannequins are not limited to the kiddie sector. Retail brands like Guess Accessories, Athleta, Charlotte Russe and Dick’s Sporting Goods have also have also signed on Fusion Specialties to make exclusive mannequins to suit their needs. So while Guess Accessories orders a tall, sleek, minimalistic mannequin with fluid lines, the mannequins for Dick’s Sporting Goods are muscular and stand in athletic poses.
However, while a regular mannequin costs about $150, a custom-made mannequin can cost anywhere between $12,000 and $24,000. Brands that go in for mass production of these retail sculptures from Fusion Specialties can expect prices of up to $550 each. Why are these mannequins so costly? It is because custom creation of a mannequin is an expensive and painstaking process.
The high prices ensure that custom mannequins are beyond the reach of most budget retailers. However, luxury retailers that can afford these prices stand to benefit by introducing custom mannequins in their store. Custom mannequins gain greater significance given that more and more people prefer shopping online nowadays. Custom-built mannequins from Fusion Specialties and other such firms can be instrumental in bringing shoppers back to the stores.