The Many Uses of Mannequins

theatre-955201_960_720Who says mannequins are only used in retail stores? Many people assume that mannequins are intended strictly for visual merchandising displays in retail stores, but this isn’t necessarily true. While this is probably their most common use, mannequins can be found in other industries and applications, some of which we’re going to discuss today.

CPR Training

Mannequins are frequently used for the purpose of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training. Instructors use them to show the exact steps for compression and compression-mouth CPR. When used for CPR, torso-only mannequins are generally preferred, as they are easier to maneuver, cost less than their full-body counterpart, and make ideal training tools for CPR classes.


You might be surprised to learn that mannequins are also used to assist artists in drawing and sketching figures. Artists will place gowns or other garments over the mannequin to see how the fabric looks on a human figure. Because mannequins are designed to closely resemble the human figure, it allows artists to see up close how various clothes look on the human body; thus, using it from which to draw inspiration for their own work.


Another surprising use of mannequins occurs in the military. According to Wikipedia, mannequins have long been used by various military powers, with the first recorded military use dating back to ancient China during the Battle of Yongqiu. The Tang army is believed to have lowered mannequins down the castle walls of its enemy to attract fire from enemy arrows. Mannequins were also used during World War I to protect soldiers from enemy sniper fire.

Visual Merchandising

Of course, the single most popular application of mannequins involves visual merchandising displays in retail stores. Retailers frequently use mannequins to display garments, fashion accessories and other products. Even if these products can be displayed on standard shelves or rolling racks, opting to display them on mannequins typically yields better results. Shoppers respond with a higher level of engagement to products displayed on mannequins, resulting in higher sales. And mannequins can be used to display more than just clothes; retailers may also use them to display jewelry, sports equipment, shoes, electronics and more.

If you have any questions at all about visual merchandising, please give us a call at 800.241.6897 or email us at