A growing number of retailers are looking to get real these days. American Eagle is promoting its new lingerie with models in ads sans retouching. Others such as Debenhams in the U.K. have begun using mannequins in sizes more reflective of what their customers look like instead of some body image they'll likely never attain.
The next stage in retail imitating life also involves mannequins and this time they not only will come in more reality-based sizes, but will have tattoos and body hair. (We're not just talking about the tops of their heads either.)
According to an Associated Press report, retailers have cut back on mannequin expenses for years, going with the white, headless, one-size across the board models. Now, some are going the fully realistic route, including physical touches such as love handles and hair in the nether regions.
The reason for the change at stores including American Apparel, David's Bridal and Saks Fifth Avenue is that retailers believe more realistic looking mannequins give shoppers a better idea of what a given garment will look like on them, something they probably are not getting while shopping online.
According to NPD Group, via AP, 42 percent of customers say mannequins influence in-store purchasing decisions. That put them right behind friends and family in the influence category.
How much more or less effective do you think lifelike mannequins will be in comparison to the headless models Americans are used to seeing in stores?