August 28 is Women's Equality Day, and your store should be ready to celebrate. Many modern retailers have realized how important gender activism is in retail displays. If a store doesn't have a modern outlook on marketing to women, they can end up in hot water on social media.
The Today Show recently featured a story of a clothing store criticized for displaying female mannequins viewed as having unrealistic body forms by many customers. An upset customer shared a photo of the display on social media and was immediately met with support. The company had to issue a formal apology.
Retailers have to realize that women are diverse if they want to engage them successfully. Visual merchandising shouldn't appeal to just one type of woman. A store should use mannequins and product displays to display the variety of goods it has available.
Momentology, a digital advertising resource, suggested focusing on average body types as opposed to constructed beauty standards. Most shoppers prefer to buy from brands that recognize their needs rather than those creating unrealistic goals. Momentology shared the results of a Modcloth report found 68 percent of women favor retailers that display real body shapes in their marketing materials.
Retailers have to avoid stereotypes. Store signage with jokes like "Your husband called, he said buy anything you want" speak to outdated gender roles. Meanwhile, Dick's Sporting Goods teamed up with Performance Health to provide athletic products for women in stores. The displays will take up prime real-estate and promote merchandise to an audience that some athletic retailers have historically ignored. While certain sports like running and swimming focus on female shoppers, football and baseball equipment suppliers are still male-centric.
Every type of person should be welcome in your store. Product displays can show women performing a variety of actives. Product shelving may feature accessories or products grouped together that go against traditional female roles. Racked, a retail resource, said Anthropology appeals to women age 18 to 55 by highlighting contrast and going against social norms. Your overall visual merchandising strategy should recognize the unique qualities and needs of a female clientele.