How Gender Mannequins is Transforming Retail Displays in Canada


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Gender Mannequins is transforming retail displays, making them come alive with style and expertise.

Since 1997, Gender Mannequins has been supplying mannequins to retail stores across Canada including some of the biggest names in the industry as well as specialized boutiques and shops of all sizes.

Leif Anderson, CEO of the company his parents founded, says mannequins have always been used as a tool for sales in retail. It’s a well-known fact that clothing properly displayed on a mannequin will increase the sale of that product by 20 to 40 per cent.

“Mannequins are a fantastic way to sell products, and with the options available today, they have a chance to do so much more. They are an integral part of any fashion brand, and given the chance, they can really affect a brand’s in-store visual impact,” he says.

“Mannequins are more than just a general feeling in a store; they become something clients can really identify with and establish a long-term connection. They tell a complete story of what the brand represents, conveying inclusivity and diversity, and showing commitment to a greener future. Most importantly, mannequins sell products.” Gender Mannequins is the go-to resource for retailers seeking answers to their interior and window display questions. Its esteemed clientele includes renowned brands such as Andrews, Aubainerie, Giant Tiger, Harley Davidson Canada, Hudson’s Bay Company, Henry Singer, Lilianne Lingerie, Body and Beach, Lole, Matt and Nat, Quartz, Reitmans, La Maison Simons, Sporting Life, Team Town Sports, Tip Top, Eclipse, La Canadienne, Pseudio, Stag Shop, and many more.

Casual Male mannequins with diversity, image supplied.

“We tend to customize our products for the clients,” says Anderson. “Each client has a different need in terms of what they need for visual. We build the mannequins based on what our clients need.”

At a basic level, a mannequin is a life-sized human form used in-store to showcase merchandise in order to increase sales. They are often perceived as simple bodies that involve dressing and accessorizing and, apart from this, do not tend to have separate characteristics.

Anderson says they are an iconic presence in retail and one of the simplest and most effective ways to inspire the customer to buy product.

Custom hanging torso, image supplied

He says mannequins allow new product, sales and hot trends to be featured visually in an instant. In addition, mannequins also work in window displays and can be used to lure clients into the store by displaying the store’s best and finest merchandise.

“Today, they have evolved beyond static objects to become something that can add real value to the message of a brand and highlight store design to heighten the customer shopping experience. Mannequins, from a retailer’s perspective become the face of the brand they represent. More and more, retailers are challenging what a typical mannequin is to distinguish themselves. Some might not consider mannequins terribly significant, but they are. Brands that “get it” make hefty investments to design custom mannequins that effortlessly illustrate their brand story and image. In today’s retail environment, it’s the details that matter. Luckily with mannequins, the possibilities are endless,” says Anderson.

Elite Collection, image supplied.

Gender Mannequins, using today’s 3D printing technology and digitalization, can create a customized mannequin in a quick and affordable way. The company, which uses a factory in China to make the mannequins, says new plant-based materials available for making mannequins have a considerably less carbon footprint than a decade ago. Some creative solutions include mixing material with recycled material to create beautiful looks that are not only unique but show the client visually a brand’s commitment to a greener future.

Grace Collection, image supplied.

The company also offers a range of alternative sizes and inclusive mannequin heads featuring different ethnicities that can be used across all its mannequin collections. It believes that representation matters, and by providing mannequin heads that reflect various ethnic backgrounds, it empowers its customers to create inclusive and relatable displays. By embracing diversity in visual merchandising, it celebrates the richness of different cultures and fosters a sense of belonging for all shoppers. “A mannequin has the power of making your clothes look as good as it needs to be and, in some cases, even better,” say Anderson.

“There’s a big difference between a mannequin from Ali Baba and the ones you get from us. It comes down to quality and design. Picture your retail store as a beautifully crafted kitchen. You’ve invested time and resources into exquisite countertops, a tasteful flooring, and stunning cupboards. Now, would you want to undermine the overall design and aesthetic appeal by placing a subpar, cheap oven in it? Probably not. Instead, you’d want the best oven that seamlessly integrates with the kitchen’s ambiance and your design choices, right? It’s no different with a mannequin. A mannequin can communicate your brand. It can make your clothes pop, it can make your clothes sell.”

The company is based in Montreal but has agents in Toronto and Vancouver.

For more information on Gender Mannequins, visit


Retail Insider worked with Gender Mannequins on this story. For more info, email craig@retail-insider-com

Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary, has more than 40 years experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, faith, city and breaking news, and business. He is the Senior News Editor with Retail Insider in addition to working as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training. Mario was named as a RETHINK Retail Top Retail Expert in 2024.


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