Búsqueda Imágenes Maps Play YouTube Noticias Gmail Drive Más »
Iniciar sesión
Usuarios de lectores de pantalla: deben hacer clic en este enlace para utilizar el modo de accesibilidad. Este modo tiene las mismas funciones esenciales pero funciona mejor con el lector.

Patentes

  1. Búsqueda avanzada de patentes
Número de publicaciónUS20080257842 A1
Tipo de publicaciónSolicitud
Número de solicitudUS 12/214,098
Fecha de publicación23 Oct 2008
Fecha de presentación17 Jun 2008
Fecha de prioridad12 Oct 2005
Número de publicación12214098, 214098, US 2008/0257842 A1, US 2008/257842 A1, US 20080257842 A1, US 20080257842A1, US 2008257842 A1, US 2008257842A1, US-A1-20080257842, US-A1-2008257842, US2008/0257842A1, US2008/257842A1, US20080257842 A1, US20080257842A1, US2008257842 A1, US2008257842A1
InventoresTimothy L. Mason
Cesionario originalNew Dimensions Research Corporation
Exportar citaBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
Enlaces externos: USPTO, Cesión de USPTO, Espacenet
Shelf unit
US 20080257842 A1
Resumen
A shelf unit for displaying a plurality of products in a space saving manner includes a plurality of brackets for securing the shelf unit to a support. A tray extends between the brackets and includes an outwardly bowed curved front portion configured such that a depth of the tray gradually increases from each end of the tray and reaches a maximum depth at an approximate midpoint of the tray width. A face portion is disposed over the curved front portion and is configured to conform substantially to the curved front portion. The face portion includes a window for viewing a product disposed behind the window. A plurality of adjustable partitions disposed on the tray are arranged substantially parallel to the brackets and define a plurality of rows for displaying the products. A biasing mechanism for biasing the products toward the curved front portion is provided.
Imágenes(11)
Previous page
Next page
Reclamaciones(9)
1. A shelf unit for displaying a plurality of products in a space saving manner, the shelf unit comprising:
a) a plurality of brackets for securing the shelf unit to a support;
b) a tray extending between said plurality of brackets, said tray comprising an outwardly bowed curved front portion configured such that a depth of said tray gradually increases from each end of said tray to reach a maximum depth at an approximate midpoint of a width of said tray;
c) a face portion disposed over said curved front portion and configured to conform substantially to said curved front portion, said face portion comprising a window for viewing a product disposed behind said window;
d) a plurality of adjustable partitions disposed on said tray arranged substantially parallel to said plurality of brackets to define a plurality of rows for displaying the plurality of products; and
e) a plurality of biasing mechanisms, each biasing mechanism disposed in a respective row of said plurality of rows for biasing the products in the row toward said curved front portion, each of said biasing mechanisms comprising a biasing element and a slidable product advancing member.
2. The shelf unit according to claim 1, wherein a ratio of a radius of curvature of said outwardly bowed curved front portion to a linear width of said tray is within the range of approximately 1.5-1.0 to approximately 3.0-1.0.
3. The shelf unit according to claim 2, wherein said ratio of said radius of curvature of said outwardly bowed curved front portion to said linear width of said tray is approximately 2.0-1.0.
4. The shelf unit according to claim 1, wherein a partition of said plurality of adjustable partitions comprises a projection extending through a corresponding slot in a floor portion of said tray for allowing said partition to slide laterally with respect to said tray.
5. The shelf unit according to claim 4, further comprising a spacer disposed between said projection and an edge of said slot for maintaining said partition in a fixed position.
6. The shelf unit according to claim 1, wherein a partition of said plurality of adjustable partitions comprises a projection extending through a corresponding slot in a floor portion of said tray for allowing said partition to slide laterally with respect to said tray, said projection comprising a flexible portion for engaging said floor portion.
7. The shelf unit according to claim 1, wherein said slidable product advancing member further comprises a curved face.
8. The shelf unit according to claim 1, further comprising a wire grid secured to said plurality of brackets and disposed over said tray.
9. The shelf unit according to claim 1, wherein said window has an aperture to facilitate loading of the products.
Descripción
    CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • [0001]
    This application is a continuation-in-part of application Ser. No. 11/334,282 filed on Jan. 18, 2006, which claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/725,849 filed on Oct. 12, 2005 and which is a continuation-in-part of application No. 29/241,484 filed on Oct. 27, 2005.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0002]
    1. Field of the Invention
  • [0003]
    The invention relates to shelf units and more particularly to shelf units having trays designed to hold modular merchandise units in a sawtooth or zig-zag arrangement so as to present the face of the product to a potential customer more effectively and efficiently. The invention further relates to shelf units having trays including outwardly bowed curved front portions so as to present the face of the product to a potential customer more effectively and efficiently.
  • [0004]
    2. The Prior Art
  • [0005]
    Merchandise for retail sale is typically arranged in parallel rows on modular shelving units. Such an arrangement allows prospective purchasers to view and select a product for purchase. As merchandise is removed from a front of the display, the shelf is re-stocked and leveled by moving merchandise to a front of the shelf to present a neat, orderly and fully stocked appearance.
  • [0006]
    In shelving arrangements according to the prior art, product units are generally disposed in parallel rows with a face of each product arranged substantially parallel to a straight front edge of the shelf. In such an arrangement, the number of rows of products which can be disposed on a shelf is limited by the width of the products. This layout fails to make efficient use of the available shelf space. In addition, an entire row of products stocked on a conventional shelf unit may be easily accessible to shoplifters.
  • [0007]
    Accordingly, there exists a need for a shelf unit wherein product units are arranged in a space-saving manner to make more efficient use of available shelf space. Moreover, a need exists for a shelf unit wherein access to a portion of the products disposed on the shelf unit is limited so as to eliminate or reduce the occurrence of pilferage.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0008]
    The invention relates to shelf units and more particularly to shelf units having trays designed to hold modular merchandise units such as packet boxes filled with merchandise such as razor blades in a sawtooth or zig-zag arrangement so as to present the face of the product to a potential customer more effectively and efficiently. The invention further relates to shelf units having trays including outwardly bowed curved front portions so as to present the face of the product to a potential customer more effectively and efficiently.
  • [0009]
    In one embodiment of the invention, a shelf unit for displaying a plurality of products in a space saving manner includes a plurality of brackets for securing the shelf unit to a support. A tray extends between the brackets. The tray has a front portion with a plurality of edges arranged with adjacent edges disposed at alternating angles to form a sawtooth pattern. A face portion is disposed over the front portion of the tray and is configured to conform substantially to the front portion. The face portion has one or more windows for viewing a product disposed behind the window.
  • [0010]
    Adjustable partitions are disposed on the tray and arranged substantially parallel to the brackets to define a plurality of rows for displaying the products. A biasing mechanism is disposed in a respective row of the plurality of rows for biasing the products in the row toward a front of the shelf unit. Each biasing mechanism may comprise a biasing element and a slidable product advancing member.
  • [0011]
    When products are arranged in adjacent rows on the shelf unit according to an embodiment of the invention, the products are arranged at alternating angles to form a sawtooth pattern corresponding to the plurality of edges of the front portion of the tray.
  • [0012]
    In another embodiment of the invention, a shelf unit for displaying a plurality of products in a space saving manner includes a plurality of brackets for securing the shelf unit to a support. A tray extends between the brackets. The tray has an outwardly bowed curved front portion configured such that a depth of the tray gradually increases from each end of the tray to reach a maximum depth at an approximate midpoint of a width of the tray. A face portion is disposed over the curved front portion of the tray and is configured to conform substantially to the curved front portion. The face portion has one or more windows for viewing a: product disposed behind the window.
  • [0013]
    Adjustable partitions are disposed on the tray and arranged substantially parallel to the brackets to define a plurality of rows for displaying the products. A biasing mechanism is disposed in a respective row of the plurality of rows for biasing the products in the row toward a front of the shelf unit. Each biasing mechanism may comprise a biasing element and a slidable product advancing member.
  • [0014]
    One advantage of a shelf unit according to an embodiment of the invention is that products may be arranged in adjacent rows and at alternating angles to form a sawtooth or zig zag pattern, thereby permitting a greater number of products to be displayed for a given amount of shelf space.
  • [0015]
    An advantage of a shelf unit according to another embodiment of the invention is that the outwardly bowed curved front of the tray portion may provide for greater depth of rows than a straight front shelf, thereby permitting a greater number of products to be displayed for a given amount of shelf space. The outwardly bowed curved front provides an aesthetically pleasing display, thereby generating customer interest and contributing to greater sales.
  • [0016]
    A shelf unit having an outwardly bowed curved front according to an embodiment of the invention may be arranged so that the outwardly bowed curved front is cantilevered in front of an adjacent straight front shelf, thereby positioning the products displayed on the curved front shelf unit closer to prospective purchasers and contributing to greater sales
  • [0017]
    A further advantage of a shelf unit according to an embodiment of the invention is that a biasing mechanism may be provided to bias the products in a row toward a front of the shelf unit, thereby eliminating the need for manual leveling of the rows of displayed products.
  • [0018]
    Another advantage of a shelf unit according to an embodiment of the invention is that individual rows for displaying products may be defined by adjustable partitions, wherein a width of a row may be adjusted to accommodate the dimensions of a particular product to be displayed.
  • [0019]
    Another advantage of a shelf unit according to an embodiment of the invention is that a face portion may be provided which includes windows allowing prospective purchasers to view the various products displayed on the shelf unit. The window may further include an aperture or finger hole to facilitate loading of products in the row. The face portion may be stationary or may be secured to the shelf unit with one or more hinges, wherein the face portion may be adapted to pivot or swing open for loading the products and to pivot or swing closed after the products have been stocked. A locking mechanism may lock the face portion in an open or closed position.
  • [0020]
    Another advantage of a shelf unit according to an embodiment of the invention is that an upwardly-biased paddle or stop may be provided in a row to facilitate loading of products in the row.
  • [0021]
    A further advantage of a shelf unit according to an embodiment of the invention is that a wire grid may be disposed at a top portion of the shelf unit to prevent or minimize losses due to shoplifting by restricting access to products disposed on the shelf unit.
  • [0022]
    Another advantage of a shelf unit according to an embodiment of the invention is that a spacer may be provided for maintaining a partition in a desired fixed position.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0023]
    Other benefits and features of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description considered in connection with the accompanying drawings. It is to be understood, however, that the drawings are designed as an illustration only and not as a definition of the limits of the invention.
  • [0024]
    In the drawings, wherein similar reference characters denote similar elements throughout the several views:
  • [0025]
    FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of a shelf unit according to an embodiment of the invention;
  • [0026]
    FIG. 2 shows a close up view of a portion of the shelf unit shown in FIG. 1;
  • [0027]
    FIG. 3 shows a perspective view of a shelf unit according to another embodiment of the invention;
  • [0028]
    FIG. 4 shows a close up view of a portion of the shelf unit shown in FIG. 3;
  • [0029]
    FIG. 5. shows a perspective view of a curved front-shelf unit according to another embodiment of the invention;
  • [0030]
    FIG. 6 shows a detailed view of a wire grid being secured to a bracket according to an embodiment of the invention;
  • [0031]
    FIG. 7 shows a perspective view of a curved front shelf unit according to an embodiment of the invention;
  • [0032]
    FIG. 8 shows a bottom perspective view of the curved front shelf unit shown in FIG. 7;
  • [0033]
    FIG. 9 shows a close up bottom view of a partition spacer and partition projections for a shelf unit according to an embodiment of the invention; and
  • [0034]
    FIG. 10 shows a top view of a curved front shelf unit according to an embodiment of the invention.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0035]
    Referring now in detail to the drawings and, in particular, FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of a shelf unit according to an embodiment of the invention. The shelf unit may include a plurality of brackets 1 for securing the shelf unit to a support (not shown). Bracket 1 may comprise, for example, a knife bracket formed from a steel stamping and powder coated. As shown, bracket 1 may include one or more projections disposed at a rear portion thereof for securing the bracket to a modular support. The bracket projections may be inserted into corresponding apertures provided in a modular support to locate and secure the shelf unit at an appropriate height. Multiple shelf units according to an embodiment of the invention may be secured to a support and positioned one over another in a stacked manner.
  • [0036]
    A tray 2 extends between the brackets 1. Tray 2 may be formed from any suitable rigid material, for example injection molded acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) plastic. As shown, tray 2 includes a front portion 3 comprising a plurality of edges 4. Plurality of edges 4 are arranged with adjacent edges 4 disposed at alternating angles to form a sawtooth or zig zag pattern.
  • [0037]
    A cross-bar 5 may be secured to brackets 1 and disposed over tray 2. Cross-bar 5 may strengthen and provide added rigidity to the shelf unit. Moreover, cross-bar 5 may provide support for a wire grid 6 disposed over tray 2. Wire grid 6 may be secured to brackets 1 and cross-bar 5 as shown. Wire grid 6 may extend from a rear portion of tray 2 to an area just behind front portion 3 of tray 2, thereby covering most of the product units disposed on the shelf unit and leaving only the front-most product or products accessible. In this way, wire grid 6 may serve as a security mechanism by preventing a prospective shoplifter from reaching into the shelf unit from above and removing an entire row or rows of products from the shelf unit.
  • [0038]
    In an embodiment of the invention, a plurality of shelf units may be secured to a support and stacked one on top of another, leaving only a small vertical spacing between units. An uppermost shelf unit may include wire grid 6 for restricting access to the products disposed on the uppermost shelf unit. The cross-bar 5 disposed over the trays 2 may further provide a security function by preventing the removal of a shelf unit from the support without first removing the unit positioned immediately over the shelf unit sought to be removed. In this way, a prospective shoplifter is unable to remove an entire shelf unit and gain access to the products disposed therein without first removing each shelf unit located over the unit. This feature further restricts access to the products disposed on a shelf unit according to an embodiment of the invention and prevents or reduces the occurrence of theft.
  • [0039]
    A face portion 7 is disposed over the front portion 3 of the shelf unit. Face portion 7 is configured to conform substantially to the shape of front portion 3 and follows the sawtooth or zig zag pattern formed by edges 4 of tray 2. Face portion 7 may comprise one or more windows 8 arranged so that products disposed on the shelf unit behind the windows 8 may be viewed. Windows 8 may be formed from a transparent or semi-transparent material, for example injection molded clear polycarbonate plastic.
  • [0040]
    A shelf unit according to an embodiment of the invention further comprises a plurality of adjustable partitions or dividers 9 disposed on tray 2. Partitions or dividers 9 are arranged substantially parallel to brackets 1 and form a plurality of rows defined on one side by partition 9 and on another side by an second partition 9 or bracket 1. Partitions 9 are adjustable so that a width of each individual row may be adjusted to accommodate the dimensions of the product to be housed in the particular row. Adjustable partitions may be configured so that they are free to slide left or right as products are loaded into a row. Such partitions are self-adjusting in that the product finds its proper row width by displacing the flexible partition or partitions. In an additional embodiment, partitions 9 may be locked into a plurality of fixed positions, forming rows of appropriate widths. For example, partitions 9 may snap into place on tray 2. Fixed stops or snaps for locating the partition 9 may be spaced at ½ inch or ¼ inch intervals, thereby allowing for precise positioning of the partition. When a partition is snapped or otherwise secured in place in this embodiment, products in an adjacent row will not encroach or displace the partition.
  • [0041]
    Each row in the shelf unit according to an embodiment of the invention may further include a biasing mechanism or pusher for biasing the product in that row toward the front of the shelf unit, where the product can be viewed and accessed by purchasers. As shown in FIGS. 2 and 4, the biasing mechanism includes a biasing element 101 and a slidable product advancing member 102. Slidable product advancing member may have a face disposed substantially parallel to the edge 4 at the front of the row wherein the biasing mechanism is disposed, as shown.
  • [0042]
    Biasing element 101 may comprise a spring element which is secured at one end near a front of the row. In the embodiments shown, biasing element 101 comprises a length of flat metal spring material which is secured at one end near a front of the row and forms a coil which is uncoiled as slidable product advancing member 102 is moved toward a rear of the row. The coiled spring biases the product advancing member 102 toward a front of the shelf unit. Thus, as products are removed from the front of a row of products, the biasing mechanism displaces the remaining row of product toward a front of the shelf unit, thereby maintaining a neat, fully stocked appearance and eliminating the need for manual leveling.
  • [0043]
    Products may be arranged in the adjacent rows defined by a pair of partitions 9 or a partition 9 and a bracket 1 at alternating angles to form a sawtooth pattern corresponding to the pattern formed by the plurality of edges 4 at the front portion of tray 2. Each row of products forms a non-right angle with respect to bracket 1 with adjacent rows of products angled out from a rear of the shelf unit and in toward a rear of the shelf unit in an alternating manner to form a sawtooth or zig zag pattern.
  • [0044]
    By arranging the products in rows with adjacent rows disposed at alternating angles, it is possible to fit more products in a given amount of shelf space as compared to conventional arrangements wherein products are arranged in parallel rows at substantially right angles to a shelf bracket. The arrangement of products in a shelf unit according to an embodiment of the invention achieves significant space saving, allowing more products to be stocked in a given amount of shelf space. For example, in the embodiment shown in the drawings, twelve rows of products are arranged on a shelf unit which takes up a linear space which would accommodate only ten rows of the same product if arranged in a conventional manner in parallel rows.
  • [0045]
    A shelf unit according to an embodiment of the invention may be sized and shaped so that it is suitable for holding a particular product or class of products. For example, the embodiment shown in the drawing figures may be used to display and hold packages of razor blade cartridges in a space-saving manner. The dimensions of the shelf unit can be adapted to accommodate a wide variety of products for retail sale, for example personal care products or any other products which are suitable for displaying on a conventional shelf assemblies.
  • [0046]
    As shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, tray 2 may have a floor portion 21 disposed at a bottom of tray 2. The plurality of edges 4 arranged in a saw-tooth pattern may extend upwardly from floor portion 21 to form a plurality of walls 41. Walls 41 are generally parallel to edges 4 so that the plurality of walls 41 to form a sawtooth pattern.
  • [0047]
    Face portion 7 of the shelf unit may be secured to tray 2 in a stationary manner, as illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, or alternatively may be secured to tray 2 with one or more hinges 71, as illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4. Hinges 71 allow face 7 to pivot between an open position (as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4) for loading products into the shelf unit and a closed position. A locking mechanism may be provided for locking the drop down face 7 in either an open or closed position. During loading, the drop down hinged face may be moved to the open position so that products may be inserted into appropriate rows of the shelf unit from the front. Following the stocking of the shelf, the face 7 is moved to the closed position. The locking mechanism may be adapted so that face 7 may be locked in place only by authorized persons, for example by a store employee.
  • [0048]
    As shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, a shelf unit according to an embodiment of the invention may include one or more paddles or stops 22 disposed in one or more of the product rows. Paddles 22 are pivotally mounted to tray 2 and are adapted to pivot downwardly toward a rear of the shelf unit as products are loaded into the respective row. Paddles 22 are biased in a upward position, for example with a spring mechanism, so that paddles 22 return to a vertical position when no longer held down by a product.
  • [0049]
    Paddles 22 assist in front loading of the shelf unit by allowing a plurality of products to be loaded at one time, rather than loading just a single unit at a time. As products are placed into a particular row, the paddle 22 pivot down toward a rear of the shelf unit and the products push against the biasing mechanism or pusher, displacing it toward the rear of the shelf unit. Once the row of products is pushed past the paddle 22, the paddle 22 flips up into its vertical state and acts as a stop, preventing the biasing mechanism from pushing the row of products all the way to the front of the shelf unit. This feature facilitates the loading of a plurality of product units into the shelf unit, and allows for more efficient stocking of the shelf unit.
  • [0050]
    As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, a shelf unit according to an embodiment of the invention may include one or more apertures 81 to facilitate loading of products into the shelf unit. Apertures 81 are disposed in window portion 8 of face 7. Apertures 81 comprise a through hole or finger hole sized so that a person responsible for stocking the shelf unit may insert one or more of their fingers through aperture 81 to push a row of products in the respective row back toward a rear of the shelf unit against the biasing mechanism. For example, in the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, product units may be loaded into the rows of the shelf unit from above and a person may push the products already disposed in a row back against the biasing mechanism by inserting one or more of their fingers through aperture 81, thereby making room to insert one or more additional products from above.
  • [0051]
    FIG. 5 shows a perspective view of a curved front shelf unit according to another embodiment of the invention. The shelf unit may include a plurality of brackets 1′ for securing the shelf unit to a support (not shown). Bracket 1′ may comprise, for example, a knife bracket formed from a steel stamping and powder coated. As shown, bracket 1′ may include one or more projections disposed at a rear portion thereof for securing the bracket to a modular support. The bracket projections may be inserted into corresponding apertures provided in a modular support to locate and secure the shelf unit at an appropriate height. Multiple shelf units according to an embodiment of the invention may be secured to a support and positioned one over another in a stacked manner.
  • [0052]
    A tray 2′ extends between the brackets 1′. Tray 2′ may be formed from any suitable rigid material, for example metal or injection molded acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) plastic. As shown, tray 2′ includes an outwardly bowed curved front portion 3′ configured such that a depth of tray 2′ gradually increases from each end of tray 2′ to reach a maximum depth at an approximate midpoint of tray 2′. Tray 2′ may have a floor portion 21′ disposed at a bottom of tray 2′ A wire grid 6′ may be secured over brackets 1′ and disposed over tray 2′. Wire grid 6′ may be secured to brackets 1′ via a bracket 61 as shown in FIG. 6. For example bracket 1′ may include a sleeve or pocket formed therein for receiving wire grid bracket 61. Wire grid bracket 61 may also include a tab which can be bent to engage a corresponding opening in bracket 1′.
  • [0053]
    Wire grid 6′ may extend from a rear portion of tray 2′ to an area just behind front portion 3′ of tray 2′, thereby covering most of the product units disposed on the shelf unit and leaving only the front-most product or products accessible. In this way, wire grid 6′ may serve as a security mechanism by preventing a prospective shoplifter from reaching into the shelf unit from above and removing an entire row or rows of products from the shelf unit.
  • [0054]
    In an embodiment of the invention, a plurality of shelf units may be secured to a support and stacked one on top of another, leaving only a small vertical spacing between units. An uppermost shelf unit may include wire grid 6′ for restricting access to the products disposed on the uppermost shelf unit.
  • [0055]
    A face portion 7′ is disposed over the curved front portion 3′ of the shelf unit. Face portion 7′ is configured to conform substantially to the shape of curved front portion 3′. Face portion 7′ may comprise a window 8′ for viewing a product disposed on the shelf unit behind the windows 8′. Window 8′ may be formed from a transparent or semi-transparent material, for example injection molded clear polycarbonate plastic.
  • [0056]
    A shelf unit according to an embodiment of the invention further comprises a plurality of adjustable partitions or dividers 9′ disposed on tray 2′. Partitions or dividers 9′ are arranged substantially parallel to brackets 1′ and form a plurality of rows defined on one side by partition 9′ and on another side by a second partition 9′ or bracket 1′. Partitions 9′ are adjustable so that a width of each individual row may be adjusted to accommodate the dimensions of the product to be housed in the particular row. Adjustable partitions may be configured so that they are free to slide left or right as products are loaded into a row. Such partitions may be self-adjusting in that the product finds its proper row width by displacing the flexible partition or partitions.
  • [0057]
    As illustrated in FIG. 9, one or more partitions 9′ may include a projection 91 extending through a corresponding slot in a floor portion 21′ of tray 2′ for allowing the partition 9′ to slide laterally with respect to tray 2′. Projection 91 may comprise an appendage of partition 9′. A spacer 92 may be disposed between projection 91 and an edge of the slot for maintaining the partition 9′ in a fixed position. This projection and spacer arrangement may be used, for example, to force two adjacent partitions 9′ toward each other to produce a narrow track or row. Such a narrow track or row including partitions 9′ maintained in a fixed position may be needed for certain narrow and/or unstable product and/or packaging configurations.
  • [0058]
    FIG. 9 also shows a second type of projection 93 which projects downwardly from a partition 9′ and extends through a corresponding slot in a floor portion 21′ of the tray 2′. Projection 93 allows the associated partition to slide laterally with respect to the tray 2′. Projection 93 may further include a flexible portion 94 for engaging floor portion 21′ of tray 2′. For example, projection 93 may comprise an arrow shaped member with two flexible portions 94 extending at an angle from the arrow tip. Flexible portions 94 flex inwardly allowing projection 93 to be inserted through a slot or opening in tray 2′ and then flex outwardly once partition 9′ is seated, thereby securely fastening the partition 9′ to tray 2′.
  • [0059]
    Each row in the shelf unit according to an embodiment of the invention may further include a biasing mechanism or pusher for biasing the product in that row toward the curved front of the shelf unit, where the product can be viewed and accessed by purchasers. As shown in FIGS. 5, 7 and 10, the biasing mechanism includes a biasing element 101′ and a slidable product advancing member 102′. Slidable product advancing member 102′ may have a curved face. The curved front face of product advancing member 102′ may assist in properly aligning products with respect to curved face portion 7
  • [0060]
    Biasing element 101′ may comprise a spring element which is secured at one end near a front of the row. In the embodiments shown, biasing element loll comprises a length of flat metal spring material which is secured at one end near a front of the row and forms a coil which is uncoiled as slidable product advancing member 102′ is moved toward a rear of the row. The coiled spring biases the product advancing member 102′ toward a front of the shelf unit. Thus, as products are removed from the front of a row of products, the biasing mechanism displaces the remaining row of product toward a front of the shelf unit, thereby maintaining a neat, fully stocked appearance and eliminating the need for manual leveling.
  • [0061]
    A shelf unit according to an embodiment of the invention may be sized and shaped so that it is suitable for holding a particular product or class of products. For example, the embodiment shown in the drawing figures may be used to display and hold packages of razor blade cartridges in a space-saving manner. The dimensions of the shelf unit can be adapted to accommodate a wide variety of products for retail sale, for example personal care products or any other products which are suitable for displaying on a conventional shelf assemblies.
  • [0062]
    In one embodiment, tray 2′ may be approximately two feet to six feet wide, preferably approximately 47 and 15/16 inches wide. A radius of curvature of outwardly bowed curved front portion 3′ may be approximately three feet to eighteen feet, preferably approximately 96 and ¾ inches.
  • [0063]
    Outwardly bowed curved front portion 3′ of the shelf unit may have a radius of curvature corresponding to a linear width of tray 2′. For example a ratio of a radius of curvature of outwardly bowed curved front portion 3′ to a linear width of tray 2′ may be within the range of approximately 1.5-1.0 to approximately 3.0-1.0. In the exemplary embodiment shown in FIG. 10, the ratio of the radius of curvature of outwardly bowed curved front portion 3′ to a linear width of tray 2′ is approximately 2.0-1.0.
  • [0064]
    The outwardly bowed curved front 3′ of the tray portion 2′ may permit a greater number of products to be displayed for a given amount of shelf space and provide an aesthetically pleasing display, thereby generating customer interest and contributing to greater sales.
  • [0065]
    As shown in FIGS. 5 and 7, a shelf unit according to an embodiment of the invention may include one or more apertures 81′ to facilitate loading of products into the shelf unit. Apertures 81′ are disposed in window portion 8′ of face 7′. Apertures 81′ comprise a through hole or finger hole sized so that a person responsible for stocking the shelf unit may insert one or more of their fingers through aperture 81′ to push a row of products in the respective row back toward a rear of the shelf unit against the biasing mechanism. For example, product units may be loaded into the rows of the shelf unit from above and a person may push the products already disposed in a row back against the biasing mechanism by inserting one or more of their fingers through aperture 81′, thereby making room to insert one or more additional products from above.
  • [0066]
    As shown in FIGS. 7 and 8, a shelf unit according to an embodiment of the invention may further include a display panel 120 for displaying information relating to one or more of the products displayed on the shelf unit. Such information may include advertising, pricing, product information and the like. Display panel 120 may be formed or fabricated from a transparent or semi-transparent material, for example extruded clear copolyester plastic and may be configured such that a card or sheet of material printed with information relating to the displayed product or products may be received between two parallel spaced apart faces of display panel 120. The card or sheet is held securely in display panel 120 and can easily be removed and replaced as necessary, for example when the display shelf is stocked with a different type of product.
  • [0067]
    Display panel 120 is configured to conform substantially to the shape of curved front portion 3′ and provide a pleasing aesthetic appearance. Display panel 120 may be secured to an underside of tray 2′ with one or more clips 121 shown in FIG. 8. Clips 121 may include inwardly projecting arms which engage a corresponding portion of display panel 120 for securing display panel 120 to the shelf unit.
  • [0068]
    Accordingly, while several embodiments of the present invention have been shown and described, it is obvious that many changes and modifications may be made thereunto without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.
Citas de patentes
Patente citada Fecha de presentación Fecha de publicación Solicitante Título
US4690287 *21 Abr 19861 Sep 1987The Mead CorporationGravity feed display device
US4730741 *16 Oct 198615 Mar 1988The Niven Marketing GroupPressure-feed tray system
US5024336 *24 Jul 199018 Jun 1991The Mead CorporationComposite organizer
US5265738 *14 May 199230 Nov 1993P.O.P. Displays, Inc.Shelf display dispenser for packaged merchandise
US5706956 *30 Oct 199513 Ene 1998Paul Flum Ideas, Inc.Overhead guide channel stabilizer means for use in association with product merchandising display units
US5855283 *31 Jul 19975 Ene 1999Dci Marketing, Inc.Product display
US5865326 *24 Jun 19982 Feb 1999The Mead CorporationWire rack for flanged articles
US5918954 *5 Nov 19976 Jul 1999Philip Morris IncorporatedLimited access sales apparatus
US6142316 *1 Abr 19987 Nov 2000Paul Flum Ideas, Inc.Product merchandising display unit with replaceable product graphics
US6237784 *6 Dic 199929 May 2001Display Industries, Llc.Label orienting display rack
US6523702 *29 Nov 200125 Feb 2003Display Industries, LlcInclined merchandising display track device
US6866155 *18 Dic 200215 Mar 2005Trion Industries, Inc.Product display rack
US7032761 *31 Oct 200325 Abr 2006Trion Industries, Inc.Product display rack with front barrier panel
US7140499 *23 Dic 200228 Nov 2006Burke Display Systems, Inc.Forward feeding modular display rack for rounded articles
US7182209 *23 Feb 200627 Feb 2007Display Technologies, LlcGlide
US7419062 *18 Ene 20062 Sep 2008New Dimensions Research CorporationShelf unit
US20010020604 *7 Mar 200113 Sep 2001L&P Property Management CompanyShelf assembly
US20040020877 *1 Ago 20025 Feb 2004Paul Flum Ideas, Inc.Product merchandising display unit with pull through front wall members
US20050199564 *11 Mar 200515 Sep 2005Dci Marketing, Inc.Merchandising system
USD295813 *23 Dic 198524 May 1988New England Apple Products Co., Inc.Dispenser rack for beverage containers
USD322989 *7 Ago 19897 Ene 1992 Storage container for cards
USD422436 *23 Jun 199911 Abr 2000 Shelf
USD474923 *18 Sep 200227 May 2003Dci Marketing, Inc.Merchandising system
USD489556 *24 Feb 200311 May 2004New Dimensions Research CorporationShelf
USD509982 *30 Jun 200427 Sep 2005American Signature, Inc.Multimedia storage tray
USD515346 *24 Feb 200521 Feb 2006American Signature, Inc.Modular component for a multimedia storage tray
Citada por
Patente citante Fecha de presentación Fecha de publicación Solicitante Título
US9642475 *9 Abr 20149 May 2017Marketing Impact LimitedHanging product divider and pusher systems and methods for dividing, pushing and/or dispensing one or more retail products
US20100059469 *5 Sep 200811 Mar 2010Jeffrey MasonDisplay device with slow product advancing mechanism
US20140305889 *9 Abr 201416 Oct 2014Marketing Impact LimitedHanging product divider and pusher systems and methods for dividing, pushing and/or dispensing one or more retail products
Clasificaciones
Clasificación de EE.UU.211/133.6
Clasificación internacionalA47F3/14
Clasificación cooperativaA47F1/126
Clasificación europeaA47F1/12D1
Eventos legales
FechaCódigoEventoDescripción
17 Jun 2008ASAssignment
Owner name: NEW DIMENSIONS RESEARCH CORPORATION, NEW YORK
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:MASON, TIMOTHY L.;REEL/FRAME:021180/0223
Effective date: 20080612