US20020148794A1 - Merchandise display tray with spring-loaded pusher plate - Google Patents

Merchandise display tray with spring-loaded pusher plate Download PDF

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Publication number
US20020148794A1
US20020148794A1 US09/833,127 US83312701A US2002148794A1 US 20020148794 A1 US20020148794 A1 US 20020148794A1 US 83312701 A US83312701 A US 83312701A US 2002148794 A1 US2002148794 A1 US 2002148794A1
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US
United States
Prior art keywords
plate portion
apparatus
lower surface
front plate
resilient member
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
Application number
US09/833,127
Inventor
Daniel Marihugh
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Sears Roebuck and Co
Original Assignee
Sears Roebuck and Co
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Application filed by Sears Roebuck and Co filed Critical Sears Roebuck and Co
Priority to US09/833,127 priority Critical patent/US20020148794A1/en
Assigned to SEARS, ROEBUCK AND CO. reassignment SEARS, ROEBUCK AND CO. ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: MARIHUGH, DANIEL W.
Publication of US20020148794A1 publication Critical patent/US20020148794A1/en
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

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Classifications

    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47FSPECIAL FURNITURE, FITTINGS, OR ACCESSORIES FOR SHOPS, STOREHOUSES, BARS, RESTAURANTS OR THE LIKE; PAYING COUNTERS
    • A47F1/00Racks for dispensing merchandise; Containers for dispensing merchandise
    • A47F1/04Racks or containers with arrangements for dispensing articles, e.g. by means of gravity or springs
    • A47F1/12Racks or containers with arrangements for dispensing articles, e.g. by means of gravity or springs dispensing from the side of an approximately horizontal stack
    • A47F1/125Racks or containers with arrangements for dispensing articles, e.g. by means of gravity or springs dispensing from the side of an approximately horizontal stack with an article-pushing device
    • A47F1/126Racks or containers with arrangements for dispensing articles, e.g. by means of gravity or springs dispensing from the side of an approximately horizontal stack with an article-pushing device the pushing device being urged by spring means

Abstract

An apparatus for displaying a plurality of merchandise packages is provided. The apparatus comprises a substantially horizontal lower surface, a substantially vertical front plate portion connected to the lower surface, and a substantially vertical rear plate portion connected to the lower surface. The front plate portion has at least one dimension substantially smaller than a corresponding dimension of each merchandise package. A substantially vertical pusher plate is slidably mounted to the lower surface and a resilient member attached to the tray, the resilient member being adapted to urge the pusher surface toward the front plate portion.

Description

    FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention relates generally to an apparatus for holding and displaying merchandise packages, such as, for example, packages containing compact discs for audio, video discs (e.g., DVD's), software discs, or video game discs (e.g., video game discs for use with Sega Dreamcast®, Nintendo 64®, Sony Playstation®, or Sony Playstation 2® brand video game systems). More specifically, the present invention relates to a spring-loaded apparatus for holding and displaying merchandise packages. [0001]
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • Optical discs have proven to be an enduring and popular medium for storing large amounts of information for use by consumers, in the audio, video, computer software, and video game industries. Optical discs, although typically uniformly sized at about 4.6875 inches (about 11.91 cm) in diameter, are marketed and packaged using a variety of configurations, such as, for example, plastic “jewel box” cases, in cardboard packaging (such as in simple cardboard sleeves), in a combination of plastic and cardboard packaging, or plastic jewel box cases or cardboard sleeves that are in turn packaged within an outer cardboard box. Jewel box cases typically have the following dimensions: a thickness of about 0.41 inches (1.032 cm); a height of about 4.9 inches (12.46 cm); and a width of about 5.6 inches (14.21 cm). However, the dimensions of the other packaging configurations can vary considerably from one another, and from the jewel box dimensions. [0002]
  • Oftentimes, retailers display merchandise in relatively small packages, such as, for example, optical discs contained in jewel boxes, on a simple shelf, similar to a bookshelf, or in tabletop bins having dividers spaced horizontally by slightly more than the height of a standard jewel box case, with the jewel boxes arranged vertically within the bins or shelves, so that only the side edge of the jewel boxes (with the respective titles of the optical disc products marked thereon) are visible to the consumer. [0003]
  • Consequently, many display systems that are currently employed by retailers are unsatisfactory for adapting to varying packaging sizes used for optical discs, as well as for ensuring that information, such as ratings for video games appearing on the front surface of the optical disc packaging, is readily visible to the consumer in a retail setting. [0004]
  • Accordingly, a need exists for an apparatus that is capable of displaying a variety of different sized packaging for merchandise such as, for example, optical discs, and that ensures that important information in addition to title information (such as content rating information) is readily visible to the consumer. [0005]
  • SUMMARY OF THE DISCLOSURE
  • The present invention satisfies the aforementioned need by providing a display apparatus that is capable of holding a variety of packaging sizes and configurations for merchandise, such as, for example, optical discs, and which provides visibility of most of the front surface of the merchandise packaging. [0006]
  • In accordance with one aspect of the invention, an apparatus for displaying a plurality of merchandise packages is provided. The apparatus comprises a substantially horizontal lower surface, a substantially vertical front plate portion connected to the lower surface, a substantially vertical rear plate portion connected to the lower surface, and a substantially vertical pusher plate slidably mounted to the lower surface. The front plate portion has at least one dimension substantially smaller than a corresponding dimension of each merchandise package. The apparatus also includes a resilient member, such as, for example, a coil spring, adapted to urge the pusher plate toward the front plate portion. [0007]
  • In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the front plate portion has a width and/or height substantially smaller than the respective width and/or height of a typical optical disc package. The front plate portion and the rear plate portion may be integrally connected to the lower surface. The rear plate portion may include a stair step-shaped region adapted to fit within a horizontal channel in a substantially vertical wall surface.[0008]
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • For a more complete understanding of the disclosed apparatus, reference should now be made to the embodiments illustrated in greater detail in the accompanying drawings wherein: [0009]
  • FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a display tray apparatus configured in accordance with the invention; [0010]
  • FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of the display tray apparatus containing a plurality of merchandise packages, showing the apparatus suspended from a wall structure; [0011]
  • FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a base portion, front plate portion, and rear plate portion of the display tray apparatus; [0012]
  • FIG. 4 is a perspective view of an pusher plate of the display tray apparatus; [0013]
  • FIG. 5 is a side elevational view of a coil spring of the display tray apparatus; [0014]
  • FIG. 6 is a plan view of the display tray apparatus; and [0015]
  • FIG. 7 is a front view of the display tray apparatus, also depicting a forward most merchandise package contained by the display tray apparatus.[0016]
  • It should be understood that the drawings are not necessarily to scale and that the embodiments are sometimes illustrated using phantom lines and fragmentary views. In certain instances, details which are not necessary for an understanding of the disclosed apparatus or which render other details difficult to perceive may have been omitted. It should be understood, of course, that the present invention is not necessarily limited to the particular embodiments illustrated herein. [0017]
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PRESENTLY PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • With reference to FIGS. 1 and 2, a display tray apparatus, generally indicated at [0018] 20, includes a generally vertical rear plate portion 22, attached to a generally horizontal base portion 24 at a rearward end 26 of the base portion 24. A generally vertical forward plate portion 28 is attached to a forward end 30 of the base portion 24. The base portion 24 includes an elongated slot 32 that extends from the rearward end 26 of the base portion 24 to a forward slot edge 34 near the forward end 30 of the base portion 24. The rear plate portion 22, the base portion 24, and the forward plate portion 28 together form a fixed tray portion 33, shown in isolation in FIG. 3.
  • With reference to FIGS. 1, 2 and [0019] 4, a generally vertical pusher plate 36 is slidably mounted to the base portion 24 within the longitudinal slot 32. The pusher plate 36 includes a channel-shaped mounting portion, generally indicated at 38, having a pair of rearward extending flanges 40 and 42, each having a forward jaw opening 44 and a rearward jaw opening 46. The pusher plate 36 is secured within the longitudinal slot 32 by means of four roller pins: a lower rearward roller pin 48; a lower forward roller pin 50; an upper rearward roller pin 52; and an upper forward roller pin 54 (best seen in FIG. 2). The upper forward roller pin 54 and the upper rearward roller pin 52 are each disposed in the forward jaw opening 44 and the rearward jaw opening 46, respectively and are disposed above the base portion 24. The lower rearward roller pin 48 and the lower forward roller pin 50 are disposed within the rearward jaw opening 46, and the forward jaw opening 44, respectively, and are disposed below the base portion 24. Each roller pin, 48, 50, 52, and 54, includes two circumferential groves (not shown) adapted to mate with the flanges 40 and 42.
  • A coil spring [0020] 56 includes a coiled portion 57 that is disposed between the flanges 40 and 42 of the pusher plate 36 and includes a hooked end 58 that engages a slot 60 disposed in a central portion of the forward plate portion 28 along the forward end 30 of the base portion 24. The coil spring 56 is threaded between the upper roller pins 52, 54 and the lower roller pins 48 and 50 and urges the pusher plate 36 toward the forward plate portion 28. The coil spring 56 is shown in isolation in FIG. 5.
  • With reference again to FIG. 2, the rear plate portion [0021] 22 includes a stair step-shaped region 62 that is shaped so as to fit snugly within a horizontal channel 64 in a vertical wall surface 66, to enable the display tray apparatus 20 to hang from the wall surface 66. Merchandise packages 67 are supported by the horizontal plage portion 24 and held between the pusher plate 36 and the forward plate portion 28 due to the tension of the coil spring 56.
  • With reference to FIGS. 1, 2, [0022] 3, and 6, a horizontal flange 68 extends from the forward plate portion 28 in a rearward direction (toward the rear plate portion 22). The horizontal flange 68 serves to maintain the merchandise packages 67 in a slightly rearwardly angled position, as shown in FIG. 2, to thereby prevent the merchandise packages 67 from tending to flip over the forward plate portion 28. A transparent plastic clip 70 may be mounted to the forward plate portion 28 using adhesive (not shown) or any other suitable fastening means. The plastic clip 70 may be used to hold product information and/or price information cards (not shown).
  • As best seen in FIG. 7, the forward plate portion [0023] 28 has a height and width substantially less than the height and width of the merchandise packages 67. Accordingly, information that may be printed on the merchandise packages 67, such as, for example, rating information 72, is readily visible when the merchandise packages 67 are contained in the display tray apparatus 20.
  • Numerous modifications and alternative embodiments of the invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art in view of the foregoing description. Accordingly, this description is to be construed as illustrative only is not to be limiting of the invention. For example, the roller pins can each have a smaller diameter, and plastic roller tubes (not shown) could be press-fit, adhesively bonded, or otherwise attached to the each end of each roller pin. (This would eliminate the need for any circumferential grooves in the roller pins.) Thus, the details herein given may be varied substantially without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention. Accordingly, the exclusive use of all modifications which are within the scope of the appended claims is reserved. [0024]

Claims (18)

What is claimed is:
1. An apparatus for displaying a plurality of merchandise packages, the apparatus comprising:
a substantially horizontal lower surface;
a substantially vertical front plate portion connected to the lower surface, the front plate portion having at least one dimension substantially smaller than a corresponding dimension of each merchandise package;
a substantially vertical rear plate portion connected to the lower surface;
a substantially vertical pusher plate slidably mounted to the lower surface; and
a resilient member adapted to urge the pusher plate toward the front plate portion.
2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein, each merchandise package has a first width, and the front plate portion has a second width substantially smaller than the first width.
3. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the front plate portion is integrally connected to the lower surface.
4. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the rear plate portion is integrally connected to the lower surface.
5. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the rear plate portion includes a stairstep-shaped region adapted to fit within a horizontal channel in a substantially vertical wall surface.
6. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the resilient member is a coil spring.
7. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the resilient member includes a hooked end attached to the forward plate portion and a coiled portion disposed between the pusher plate and the rear plate portion.
8. The apparatus of claim 7, wherein the forward plate portion includes a slot, and the hooked end of the resilient member engages the slot.
9. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein each merchandise package has a first height, and the front plate portion has a second height substantially smaller than the first height.
10. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the forward plate portion includes an upper, substantially horizontal, flange extending toward the rear plate portion.
11. An apparatus for displaying a plurality of merchandise packages, the apparatus comprising:
a fixed tray portion, the fixed tray portion including a substantially horizontal lower surface, a substantially vertical front plate portion connected to the lower surface, the front plate portion having at least one dimension substantially smaller than a corresponding dimension of each merchandise package, and a substantially vertical rear plate portion connected to the lower surface;
a substantially vertical pusher plate slidably mounted to the lower surface; and
a resilient member adapted to urge the pusher plate toward the front plate portion.
12. The apparatus of claim 11, wherein, each merchandise package has a first width, and the front plate portion has a second width substantially smaller than the first width.
13. The apparatus of claim 11, wherein the rear plate portion includes a stair step-shaped region adapted to fit within a horizontal channel in a substantially vertical wall surface.
14. The apparatus of claim 11, wherein the resilient member is a coil spring.
15. The apparatus of claim 11, wherein the resilient member includes a hooked end attached to the forward plate portion and a coiled portion disposed between the pusher plate and the rear plate portion.
16. The apparatus of claim 15, wherein the forward plate portion includes a slot, and the hooked end of the resilient member engages the slot.
17. The apparatus of claim 11, wherein each merchandise package has a first height, and the front plate portion has a second height substantially smaller than the first height.
18. The apparatus of claim 11, wherein the forward plate portion includes an upper, substantially horizontal, flange extending toward the rear plate portion.
US09/833,127 2001-04-11 2001-04-11 Merchandise display tray with spring-loaded pusher plate Abandoned US20020148794A1 (en)

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Cited By (47)

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US20050077259A1 (en) * 2003-10-13 2005-04-14 Albert Menz Weighted pusher
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US20070090068A1 (en) * 2005-10-25 2007-04-26 Rtc Industries, Inc. Product management display system
US20070095772A1 (en) * 2001-05-17 2007-05-03 Rtc Industries, Inc. Product Management Display System
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US7458473B1 (en) * 2005-12-06 2008-12-02 New Dimensions Research Corporation Display shelf
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US8056734B2 (en) 2006-10-23 2011-11-15 Rtc Industries, Inc. Merchandising system with flippable column and/or item stop
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US8312999B2 (en) 2005-09-12 2012-11-20 Rtc Industries, Inc. Product management display system with trackless pusher mechanism
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US8863963B2 (en) 2005-09-12 2014-10-21 Rtc Industries, Inc. Product management display system with trackless pusher mechanism
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US9101230B2 (en) 2013-04-30 2015-08-11 The Marco Company Salad pusher
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US9232864B2 (en) 2005-09-12 2016-01-12 RTC Industries, Incorporated Product management display system with trackless pusher mechanism
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