Reality in the Window

February 19, 2010

Size 16 mannequins at Debenhams

UK department store Debenhams launched UK size 16 (US 14) mannequins in the window of their Oxford Street store in London. They are up for a trial period in London, and soon in all the UK stores, to see whether customers want to keep them. A sign next to the mannequins asks customers: I’m a size 16, do you want to see more of me? While Debenhams currently uses standard size mannequins in all windows, the majority of women in the UK are either a UK size 14 or 16.

Debenhams stocks up to UK size 26 in its Womenswear department, and 42% of sales come from UK size 14 and 16 garments. Debenhams Head of Creative, Mark Stevens, said: “We are proud to offer a broad and varied choice for women of all ages, shapes and sizes in store. So we thought we should reflect this in our window displays. If it’s popular with customers we would love to roll it out.”

Whether the mannequins stay is up to us. The retailer awaits our feedback on their site. We can change the industry because we keep the industry in business through our spending. I say to Debenhams: Use three sized mannequins to reflect the variety of body types of your consumer. That way she can see herself in your windows and in your clothes.

Percentage of sales by size at Debenhams

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