US20030094124A1 - Modular pallet display system - Google Patents

Modular pallet display system Download PDF

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Publication number
US20030094124A1
US20030094124A1 US10/299,251 US29925102A US2003094124A1 US 20030094124 A1 US20030094124 A1 US 20030094124A1 US 29925102 A US29925102 A US 29925102A US 2003094124 A1 US2003094124 A1 US 2003094124A1
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United States
Prior art keywords
pallet
upright
bracket
stretcher
coupled
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
US10/299,251
Inventor
Andrew Wishart
Roman Jozefiak
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L&P Property Management Co
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L&P Property Management Co
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Filing date
Publication date
Priority to US33184501P priority Critical
Application filed by L&P Property Management Co filed Critical L&P Property Management Co
Priority to US10/299,251 priority patent/US20030094124A1/en
Assigned to L&P PROPERTY MANAGEMENT COMPANY reassignment L&P PROPERTY MANAGEMENT COMPANY ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: WISHART, ANDREW S.
Assigned to L&P PROPERTY MANAGEMENT COMPANY reassignment L&P PROPERTY MANAGEMENT COMPANY ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: JOZEFIAK, ROMAN L.
Publication of US20030094124A1 publication Critical patent/US20030094124A1/en
Abandoned legal-status Critical Current

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    • B65D19/00Pallets or like platforms, with or without side walls, for supporting loads to be lifted or lowered
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    • B65D2519/00Pallets or like platforms, with or without side walls, for supporting loads to be lifted or lowered
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    • B65D2519/00Pallets or like platforms, with or without side walls, for supporting loads to be lifted or lowered
    • B65D2519/00004Details relating to pallets
    • B65D2519/00009Materials
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    • B65D2519/00248Agglomerates, i.e. different materials mixed together
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
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    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D2519/00Pallets or like platforms, with or without side walls, for supporting loads to be lifted or lowered
    • B65D2519/00004Details relating to pallets
    • B65D2519/00258Overall construction
    • B65D2519/00313Overall construction of the base surface
    • B65D2519/00323Overall construction of the base surface made of more than one piece
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
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    • B65D2519/00004Details relating to pallets
    • B65D2519/00258Overall construction
    • B65D2519/00313Overall construction of the base surface
    • B65D2519/00328Overall construction of the base surface shape of the contact surface of the base
    • B65D2519/00333Overall construction of the base surface shape of the contact surface of the base contact surface having a stringer-like shape
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
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    • B65D2519/00Pallets or like platforms, with or without side walls, for supporting loads to be lifted or lowered
    • B65D2519/00004Details relating to pallets
    • B65D2519/00547Connections
    • B65D2519/00552Structures connecting the constitutive elements of the pallet to each other, i.e. load supporting surface, base surface and/or separate spacer
    • B65D2519/00557Structures connecting the constitutive elements of the pallet to each other, i.e. load supporting surface, base surface and/or separate spacer without separate auxiliary elements
    • B65D2519/00562Structures connecting the constitutive elements of the pallet to each other, i.e. load supporting surface, base surface and/or separate spacer without separate auxiliary elements chemical connection, e.g. glued, welded, sealed
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    • B65D2519/00572Structures connecting the constitutive elements of the pallet to each other, i.e. load supporting surface, base surface and/or separate spacer with separate auxiliary element, e.g. screws, nails, bayonets
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    • B65D2519/00004Details relating to pallets
    • B65D2519/00736Details
    • B65D2519/00741Dimensional aspects of the pallet
    • B65D2519/00746Dimensional aspects of the pallet divisible into sub-pallets of smaller dimensions
    • B65D2519/00756Dimensional aspects of the pallet divisible into sub-pallets of smaller dimensions joined together by removable elements, e.g. bands encircling the feed

Abstract

A modular pallet system is provided for storing and displaying merchandise and other items. The modular pallet system uses a pallet as its support base. The pallet has at least one socket for receiving an upright to support stretchers that are adjustable to different heights along the upright. The stretchers may join multiple pallets and support shelving in a variety of configurations. Shelves or other retail fixtures may be supported by the stretchers or the upright for multiple tiers and may run between pallets. The modular pallet system offers greater versatility and customization, as compared to previously known systems.

Description

  • This application claims the benefit and priority of U.S. provisional patent application serial No. 60/331,845 filed Nov. 20, 2001.[0001]
  • FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention relates to pallets, and more particularly to adjustable pallets and pallet systems for storing and displaying merchandise and other items, methods of assembling such pallets and pallet systems, and components of such pallets and pallet systems. [0002]
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • Warehouse and retail outlets continually strive to store and display goods in a versatile manner at a minimum cost. Toward this end, various pallet and shelf assemblies have been developed. [0003]
  • Conventional warehouse-type racks and pallets have a base and uprights attached to the base, generally at each corner, with stretchers connecting the uprights to provide stability and serve as mounting locations for merchandise shelving racks or displays. Because these conventional racks and pallets utilize relatively large stretchers and include few connection points on the uprights, they can be arranged in only a limited number of different shelving configurations. Apparently, the conventional warehouse racks and pallets are intended to carry much larger loads than the relatively light-duty merchandise racks and displays found in most retail establishments. In addition, the conventional warehouse racks cannot be easily moved from one location to another within a store and reconfigured. However, with the increased popularity of warehouse-type retail stores, the need for more versatile, mobile, and adjustable warehouse-type pallets and racks has also increased. [0004]
  • Store owners would welcome a modular pallet system in which a pallet can be readily (and reversibly) adapted to form an adjustable shelving display. Desirably, two or more pallets can be joined in the new system by adjustable shelving or the like in multiple configurations to accommodate various storage and display floor plans. [0005]
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention relates to modular pallet display systems that can be used to construct adjustable shelving for display and storage. A basic warehouse pallet is provided with sockets located at each corner for receiving and supporting four slotted upright supports. The sockets are affixed to the base of the pallets to provide a rigid support frame for the modular pallet system. The slotted uprights allow shelving and other fixtures to be removably attached to the system at selected locations along the uprights, including shelves which span between two pallets. In this way, a highly flexible system is provided to accommodate many different retail and storage environments. The modular pallet system thus uses warehouse pallets to construct the system in place of standard gondolas or other known store shelving components. [0006]
  • Other independent features and independent advantages of the present invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art upon review of the following detailed description, claims, and drawings.[0007]
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a two-pallet assembly according to a first embodiment of the present invention; [0008]
  • FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a single pallet assembly; [0009]
  • FIG. 3 is a front view of the single pallet assembly illustrated in FIG. 2; [0010]
  • FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a two-pallet assembly according to another embodiment of the present invention; [0011]
  • FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a single pallet assembly according to another embodiment of the present invention; [0012]
  • FIG. 6 is a front view of the single pallet assembly illustrated in FIG. 5; [0013]
  • FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a socket for receiving and retaining upright supports; [0014]
  • FIG. 8 is a side view of the socket illustrated in FIG. 7; [0015]
  • FIG. 9 is a perspective view of a socket with a retaining bar; [0016]
  • FIG. 10 is a side view of the socket with a retaining bar; [0017]
  • FIG. 11 is a perspective view of a gusset for supporting and strengthening shelves and other fixtures attached to the uprights; [0018]
  • FIG. 12 is a perspective view of a bar or hang rod with an end clip for attachment to the pallet assembly; [0019]
  • FIG. 13 is a perspective view of the end clip of FIG. 12; [0020]
  • FIG. 14 is a front view of an upright post; [0021]
  • FIG. 15 is a perspective view of one embodiment of a pallet for use in the assembly illustrated in FIG. 2; [0022]
  • FIG. 16 is a side view of the pallet illustrated in FIG. 15; [0023]
  • FIG. 17 is a top view of the pallet illustrated in FIG. 15; [0024]
  • FIG. 18 is a side view of a lateral or front-rear stretcher; [0025]
  • FIG. 19 is a side view of a second embodiment of the lateral or front-rear stretcher; [0026]
  • FIG. 20 is a perspective view of an assembled modular pallet system showing its application as a bulk end cap; [0027]
  • FIG. 21 is a perspective view of an assembled modular pallet system showing its application as a bulk end cap having additional shelving to one side of the pallet; [0028]
  • FIG. 22 is a perspective view of an assembled modular pallet system showing its application as an end cap with graduated shelving; [0029]
  • FIG. 23 is a perspective view of an assembled modular two-pallet system with additional shelving suspended therebetween; [0030]
  • FIG. 24 is a perspective view of another assembled modular two-pallet system with additional shelving suspended therebetween; [0031]
  • FIG. 25 is a perspective view of an assembled modular two-pallet system with additional shelving suspended therebetween.[0032]
  • It is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of the construction and the arrangements of the components set forth in the following description or illustrated in the drawings. The invention is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced or carried out in various ways which are still within the spirit and scope of the present invention. Also, it is understood that the phraseology and terminology used herein is for the purpose of description and should not be regarded as limiting. The use of “including” and “comprising” and variations thereof herein is meant to encompass the items listed, and equivalents, as well as additional items. [0033]
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • The present invention provides a merchandise and/or display rack structure and system having a significantly greater degree of adjustability and mobility for accommodating a great number of shelving configurations and locations, as compared to conventional structures and systems. The structure includes a pallet [0034] 10, sockets or brackets 12 for receiving the uprights 40, and one or more stretchers for supporting a series of shelves or other store fixtures at a variety of heights and in numerous adjustable configurations. The inventive modular pallet system uses a pallet as its support base. For the present purposes, “pallet” means a low, portable platform on which materials are stacked for storage or transportation, as in a warehouse.
  • The pallet [0035] 10 has sockets 12, preferably at each corner, into which uprights 40 are inserted and to which the uprights 40 are secured. The uprights 40 are interconnected, preferably by front-rear stretchers 60 or alternatively (or in combination with) lateral stretchers 65. Merchandise display and support elements (such as shelving, rods, hangers, baskets, and the like) are then attached in any conventional manner to the uprights 40 and/or stretchers 60, 65. Preferably, the present invention employs one or more shelves 70 upon which merchandise can be displayed and supported. Various embodiments of the present invention can employ any number (including none) of these additional display and support elements as desired.
  • The present invention preferably enables a user to position merchandise in an increased range of vertical and horizontal positions upon a warehouse-type pallet. Most preferably, the modular pallet system of the present invention enables a user to locate merchandise display and support elements such as shelves, buckets, baskets, rods, hangers, and the like at any number of desired vertical, lateral, and front-rear positions using a warehouse-type pallet as the base. [0036]
  • The modular pallet system of the present invention can preferably be installed, removed, and adjusted on a warehouse-type pallet without disturbing the pallet itself. This provides significant advantages over conventional pallets and shelving systems by making installation, removal, and adjustment simple and fast. Also, the adjustability of the modular pallet system of the present invention is much greater than that of the pallets alone, providing a user with the same or similar display and storage options as offered in lighter-duty retail-type display and storage rack systems. [0037]
  • Although the structure of the present invention can be permanently incorporated into a warehouse-type pallet (i.e., integral with such a pallet), a removable system wherein the uprights, stretchers, beams, shelving, and other fixtures can be removed and reconfigured as desired is preferred. The removable system enables a user to purchase and use standard warehouse-type pallets and to install modular pallet systems on an as-needed basis. [0038]
  • In one embodiment, the modular pallet system does not require a separate support structure. Instead, the system relies upon the support and ground-contacting structure of the warehouse-type pallet on which it is installed. This reduces cost, complexity, and assembly time and enables the system to be readily moved fully assembled by inserting forklift tongues into the pallet slots [0039] 14, rather than disassembled and reassembled as would be necessary for most shelving systems.
  • FIGS. 1 and 4 are perspective views of a two-pallet assembly, showing two embodiments of the present invention. The two-pallet assembly comprises a first pallet [0040] 10, a second pallet 20 and a shelf 30 interconnecting the first and second pallets. The first pallet 10 uses a number of uprights 40 which are interconnected by front-rear stretchers 60. Shelving 70 is supported on the stretchers 60 between the uprights 40. The second pallet 20 is similarly assembled with the uprights 40. Lateral stretchers 65 are used to interconnect the uprights 40 between the pallets 10 and 20. The shelving 30, 70 rests on the stretchers 65, 60, respectively. The shelving 30, 70 could also be connected or fastened to the stretchers 65, 60, respectively, with a bolt, screw, rivet, staple, or other element. The shelving 30, 70 could also be permanently connected to the stretchers 65, 60, respectively, by welding, gluing, brazing, or any other method. In addition, the shelving 30 could also rest upon the pallets 10 and 20 and/or the shelving 70. Lateral stretchers 65 could also be employed alone or in combination with the front-rear stretchers 60 above the pallets 10 and 20.
  • As seen in FIGS. [0041] 2-3 and 5-6, the modular pallet system can also be used with a single pallet.
  • The pallet can be any conventional pallet so long as it provides a support deck with feet or skids. As seen in FIGS. [0042] 15-17, the pallet 10 has feet 16 that are of sufficient height to elevate the pallet 10 above the ground to permit a forklift to insert its forks into the spaces 14 between the feet 16 and transport the pallet 10 to other locations. The pallet 10 can be made of any suitable material, such as metal, wood, composites, plastic, and the like. Most preferably, pallet 10 is made of a relatively high-strength material such as steel, iron, aluminum, or a metal alloy.
  • As seen, for instance, in FIG. 16, sockets [0043] 12 are secured to each corner of the pallet 10. In this embodiment, the sockets 12 rest on the floor or ground with the foot 16 of the pallet 10. The preferred socket 12 can best be seen in FIGS. 7-8 and is L-shaped. As seen in FIG. 16, once assembled, the socket 12 is secured to an outer foot 16 of the pallet 10 and to the deck or upper portion 18 of the pallet 10. The socket 12 is connected in any conventional manner, preferably permanently, to the pallet 10, and more preferably welded, but may be removably secured, such as with bolts, screws, nails, pins, dowels, rivets, or any type of fastener as well. As will be understood by those skilled in the art, alternative designs for the socket 12 may be constructed. For instance, as seen in FIGS. 4-6, the socket 12 may be designed to connect only to the upper portion 18 of the pallet 10, without being connected to the outer foot 16.
  • The holes [0044] 42 of the upright 40 and the holes 13 of the socket 12 are preferably shaped and sized to align with each other. A threaded fastener, finger, pin, nail, dowel, staple, screw, bolt, or other element can be inserted into the holes 13 of the socket 12 and the aligned holes 42 (shown in FIG. 14) of the upright 40 after the upright 40 has been inserted into the larger aperture 15 (shown in FIG. 7) of the socket 12 in order to removably secure the connection between the upright 40 and the socket 12. Alternatively, the upright 40 and socket 12 can be permanently secured, as by welding, gluing, brazing, or any other method. Other methods of releasably or permanently connecting the upright 40 and socket 12 are possible within the spirit and scope of the present invention.
  • As seen in FIGS. [0045] 9-10, a stabilizer bar 19 may be secured to the socket 12 to help hold the upright 40 in place. The bar 19 is connected to the socket 12 in any conventional manner, preferably permanently, such as by welding, brazing, gluing or removably, such as with bolts, screws, nails, dowels, staples, pins, fasteners, or similar devices. The stabilizer bar 19 and socket 12 may be made of any suitable material such as metal, composites, plastic, and the like. Most preferably, stabilizer bar 19 and socket 12 are made of a relatively high-strength material such as steel, iron, aluminum, or a metal alloy.
  • Referring to FIG. 14, uprights [0046] 40 includes apertures 44 to receive stretchers 60, 65 that extend either laterally or from front to rear. Typically, either or both types of stretchers 60, 65 are adjustably connected to the uprights 40. Adjustable connections between stretchers 60, 65 and uprights 40 can be accomplished in a number of different methods. For example, the uprights 40 can have a series of apertures 44 along all or part of their lengths into which pins, posts, wedges, keys, fingers, teeth, tabs, or other protrusions or fasteners on the ends of the stretchers 60, 65 extend for connection to the uprights 40. Alternatively or in addition, fasteners such as pins and mating apertures, threaded fasteners, or interlocking flanges can be employed to connect the stretchers 60, 65 and uprights 40.
  • Preferably, the upright [0047] 40 has receiving members 44, preferably slots, to permit stretchers 60, 65 to be adjustably secured therein by holding members 46, such as by keys, wedges, pins, posts, fingers, teeth, tabs, or other protrusions or fasteners, as shown in FIGS. 18-19. The stretchers shown in FIGS. 18-19 illustrate different holding members 46. Some holding members 46 are illustrated as a protrusion with a downward tip to engage the receiving members 44 of the upright 40. Other holding members 46 are illustrated as a protrusion including a notch to engage the receiving members 44 of the upright 40. The particular stretcher 60, 65 used may depend on the type of pallet shelving structure built. Still other methods of releasably and adjustably connecting the uprights 40 to either or both types of stretchers 60, 65 are within the scope of the invention.
  • The uprights [0048] 40 and stretchers 60, 65 can be tubular or solid and can have any cross sectional shape desired. By way of example only, the uprights 40 and/or stretchers 60, 65 can have a variety of cross sections as may be required or desirable, such as hollow rectangular, C-shaped, round, or I- or L-shaped. These elements also can be solid bars or rods or have other polygonal cross sections with flanges, extensions, and other features as needed, and the like. One rack style is illustrated in the figures, in which a number of C-shaped uprights 40 are connected together by front-rear stretchers 60 having hollow stepped rectangular cross sections. The uprights 40 and the stretchers 60, 65 can be made of any appropriate material such as metal, wood, composites, plastic, and the like. Most preferably, these elements are made of a relatively high-strength material such as steel, iron, aluminum, an alloy, or any other suitable metal.
  • In certain embodiments of the present invention, additional stretchers are employed to strengthen rack structures similar to the rack structure described above. For example, diagonally-oriented front-rear stretchers [0049] 60 (not shown) can be connected between the uprights 40 for further strength of the structure. As another example, secondary front-rear stretchers can be connected in any manner to the lateral stretchers, and can run perpendicularly or at any other angle with respect to the lateral stretchers 65. Still other types of stretchers can be employed as desired.
  • In other embodiments of the present invention, the stretchers are permanently connected to the uprights [0050] 40, such as by welding, brazing, riveting, or by forming the stretchers integrally with the uprights 40.
  • The heights of shelves in the racks described above are dictated by the connection location of the stretchers employed to support the shelves [0051] 30, 70. In this regard, the heights of shelves are determined by the heights of the front-rear stretchers 60 if the shelves rest upon and are supported by the front-rear stretchers, and are determined by the heights of the lateral stretchers 65 if the shelves rest upon and are supported by the lateral stretchers 65. In the embodiment of FIG. 1, for example, the shelves 70 above the pallets 10 and 20 are only supported by the front-rear stretchers 60 while the shelf 30 between the pallets 10 and 20 is supported by lateral stretchers 65. Therefore, in this embodiment, the location of the connections between the lateral stretchers 65 and the uprights 40 (e.g., the upright apertures to which the lateral stretchers are connected) determines the height of the shelves in the shelving between the pallets 10 and 20, while the location of the connections between the front/rear stretchers 60 and the uprights 40 determine the height of the shelving above the pallets 10 and 20. Thus, the height or the vertical spacing between the shelves can be adjusted as desired by connecting the stretchers 60, 65 to the uprights 40 at any location along the length of the uprights 40 as provided by the plurality of slots 44.
  • To provide support and strength to the display elements, a gusset [0052] 75, such as that shown in FIG. 11, can be used at various intersections of the stretchers 60, 65, uprights 40, and shelving 30, 70. The gusset 75 may be used to connect the stretchers 60, 65 to the uprights 40. The gusset 75 could be permanently attached to the stretcher 60, 65 by welding, gluing, brazing, or any other method for ease of assembling the pallet shelving system. The gusset 75 could also be attached to the shelf 30, 70 to assemble the shelf 30, 70 to the upright 40, without using a stretcher 60, 65.
  • To provide more options for connecting merchandise display and storage elements within the modular pallet system, optional support uprights (not shown) can be used between adjacent uprights [0053] 40 if the run of shelving or the like requires additional non-pallet-based support. The support uprights can be substantially flat elements such as the preferred uprights 40 shown in, for example, FIG. 1, tubular elements, elements having a channel or angle-shaped cross-section, or elements having any other hollow or solid cross-sectional shape desired. In addition, the support uprights can be made of any suitable material such as metal, wood, composites, plastic, and the like. Most preferably, these elements are made of a relatively high-strength material such as steel, iron, aluminum, an alloy, or any other suitable metal.
  • The modularity of this system offers a variety of configurations for meeting different retail needs and environments. Different merchandise display and storage elements or fixtures can be mounted on the described modular pallet system, preferably in a range of depths, heights, and configurations. These configurations include a single pallet, a straight run of pallets, and various combinations of pallets and intervening shelving, including T-shaped, L-shaped, and C-shaped systems, depending on the needs of the user. [0054]
  • This inventive modular pallet system is not limited to shelves. As seen in FIGS. 12, 13 and [0055] 25, a hang rod 80 with an end clip 90 may be used to fit over the stretchers 60, 65, whether lateral or front-rear. Moreover, a wide variety of conventional merchandise display and storage elements and fixtures can be mounted on this framework (such as baskets, shelves, hangers, posts, panels, walls, etc.) to fit the products to be stored or displayed, as can be seen in FIGS. 20-25. Most preferably, these merchandise display and storage elements can be adjustably mounted as described above in a range of lateral, depth, and height positions in the warehouse-type pallet, thereby providing existing warehouse-type pallets with significantly increased flexibility and adaptability.
  • As seen in FIG. 21, panels or walls [0056] 100 can be connected to the modular pallet system by being connected to one or more uprights 40 or stretchers 60,65 in any manner (e.g., by welding, threaded fasteners, wire, bolts, and the like). In other embodiments, the tops and/or bottoms of the panels 100 can be received within channels or apertures defined by the stretchers 60, 65 or uprights 40 by headed posts, pins, posts, fingers, teeth, tabs, fasteners or other protrusions received within the channels or apertures (or vice versa). Still other manners of mounting panels or walls 100 within the system of the invention are possible. The panels or walls 100 can take any form desired, including without limitation solid or apertured plates, expanded metal, mesh, corrugated or shaped panels, peg-board, welded wire grid, drawer-containing panels and the like.
  • FIGS. [0057] 20-25 show a few examples of the types of shelving configurations that can be formed with the modular pallet system of the present invention, including shelving that can be connected to the uprights 40, to stretchers, 60, 65 or to panels or walls 100 which are connected to the uprights 40 or stretchers 60, 65. As described, the shelves 30, 70 and/or supporting stretchers 60, 65 can have one or more teeth, fingers, pins, posts, tabs, fasteners, or other protrusions which can mate with apertures 44 in the uprights 40 or panels or walls 100. Other shelving connections and alternatives are also within the scope of the present invention. For purposes of adjustability, the uprights 40 and/or the panels or walls 100 preferably have multiple apertures (not shown) along their lengths to enable a wide range of positions in which the shelves 30, 70 can be connected as desired. Shelving and other types of retail display and storage fixtures can be arranged vertically in just about any desired configuration to meet the needs of different retail and storage environments.
  • The modular pallet system herein described is a movable, transportable, and flexible display and storage system. It offers strength and durability for applications in supermarkets, warehouse outlets, home centers, “big box” retail stores, and other retail environments. The addition of uprights, beams, stretchers, and accessories allows a retailer to merchandise everything from clothing to grocery products to fertilizer. For many retailers, the modular pallet system offers greater versatility and customization than previously known gondolas and pallet racking. [0058]
  • As can be seen from the above, the invention provides a modular pallet display system for storing and displaying merchandise and other items. Various features and advantages are set forth in the following claims. [0059]

Claims (36)

What is claimed is:
1. A pallet assembly, the pallet assembly comprising:
a pallet having a deck supported by a footing;
an upright; and
a bracket coupled to the pallet, the bracket at least partially defining a socket oriented to receive the upright substantially vertically.
2. The pallet assembly as claimed in claim 1, wherein the bracket is coupled to the deck and the footing.
3. The pallet assembly as claimed in claim 1, wherein the bracket is L-shaped.
4. The pallet assembly as claimed in claim 1, wherein the upright is releasably coupled to the bracket.
5. The pallet assembly as claimed in claim 1, further comprising a stabilizer bar coupled to the bracket for reinforcing the socket.
6. The pallet assembly as claimed in claim 1, further comprising a stretcher, wherein the stretcher is releasably coupled to the upright and adjustable to different vertical locations along the upright.
7. The pallet assembly as claimed in claim 6, wherein a distal end of the stretcher includes fasteners that releasably couple to the upright.
8. The pallet assembly as claimed in claim 7, wherein the fasteners include one of a peg, a pin, a post, a key, a finger, a protrusion, a bolt, and a wedge.
9. The pallet assembly as claimed in claim 6, wherein the stretcher is permanently secured to the upright.
10. A shelving system comprising:
two racks, each rack including
a pallet having a deck supported by a footing,
an upright, and
a bracket coupled to the pallet, the bracket at least partially defining a socket oriented to receive the upright substantially vertically; and
a shelf extending between and releasably coupled to the racks.
11. The system as claimed in claim 10, further comprising a stretcher extending between the racks and releasably coupled to each of the uprights, and wherein the shelf is releasably coupled to the stretcher.
12. The system as claimed in claim 10, further comprising a panel coupled to the rack.
13. The system as claimed in claim 10, wherein the bracket is coupled to the deck and the footing.
14. The system as claimed in claim 10, wherein the bracket is L-shaped.
15. The system as claimed in claim 10, wherein the upright is releasably coupled to the bracket.
16. The system as claimed in claim 10, further comprising a stabilizer bar coupled to the bracket, and wherein the stabilizer bar reinforces the socket.
17. The system as claimed in claim 11, wherein the stretcher is adjustable to different vertical locations along the upright.
18. The system as claimed in claim 17, wherein a distal end of the stretcher includes fasteners that releasably couple to the upright.
19. The system as claimed in claim 18, wherein the fasteners include one of a peg, a pin, a post, a key, a finger, a protrusion, a bolt, and a wedge.
20. The system as claimed in claim 11, wherein the stretcher is permanently secured to the upright.
21. The system as claimed in claim 11, further comprising a hang rod coupled to the stretcher.
22. The system as claimed in claim 11, further comprising auxiliary display elements coupled to one of the stretcher and the upright.
23. The system as claimed in claim 22, wherein the auxiliary display elements include one of a basket, a shelf, a hanger, a post, a panel, a clip, and a wall.
24. A display system comprising:
a pallet having a deck supported by a footing;
an upright;
an L-shaped bracket coupled to the pallet, the bracket at least partially defining a socket oriented to receive the upright substantially vertically;
a stretcher releasably coupled to the upright; and
a shelf releasably coupled to the stretcher.
25. The display system as claimed in claim 24, wherein the bracket is coupled to the deck and the footing.
26. The display system as claimed in claim 24, wherein the upright is releasably coupled to the bracket.
27. The display system as claimed in claim 24, further comprising a stabilizer bar coupled to the bracket, and wherein the stabilizer bar reinforces the socket.
28. The display system as claimed in claim 24, wherein the stretcher is adjustable to different vertical locations along the upright.
29. The display system as claimed in claim 28, wherein a distal end of the stretcher includes fasteners that releasably couple to the upright.
30. The display system as claimed in claim 29, wherein the fasteners include one of a peg, a pin, a post, a key, a finger, a protrusion, a bolt, and a wedge.
31. The display system as claimed in claim 24, wherein the stretcher is permanently secured to the upright.
32. A method of assembling a modular shelving system, the method comprising:
providing a first pallet having a deck supported by a footing;
coupling a bracket to the pallet, the bracket at least partially defining a socket oriented to receive an upright substantially vertically;
coupling the upright to the bracket;
coupling a stretcher to the upright; and
coupling a shelf to the stretcher.
33. The method as claimed in claim 32, further comprising adjusting the stretcher to different vertical locations along the upright.
34. The method as claimed in claim 32, further comprising providing a second pallet having a foot and an upper portion, an upright, a bracket coupled to the second pallet, the bracket at least partially defining a socket oriented to receive the upright substantially vertically, a stretcher coupled to the upright, and a shelf coupled to the stretcher.
35. The method as claimed in claim 34, further comprising coupling the second pallet to the first pallet.
36. The method as claimed in claim 35, wherein the second pallet is coupled to the first pallet via an interconnecting lateral support member.
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