FIELD OF THE INVENTION
- BACKGROUND ART
The present invention relates generally to point-of-purchase display systems and devices and more particularly to a point-of-purchase display system and device wherein a video on the point-of-purchase display device includes information about an article that is for sale and is mounted on a member of the point of purchase device.
- SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
Weck et al. (U.S. Pat. No. 6,059,124) discloses a point of purchase system for carrying consumer articles that are for sale, typically hardware items, such as picture hanger hooks, nails and screws. The point of purchase system includes a vertically extending mounting structure, typically a pegboard, and plural point of purchase devices that are mounted on the pegboard. Each of the point of purchase devices includes an elongated element for receiving and carrying plural hanger cards and the articles carried by the hanger cards associated therewith. Each elongated element includes a structure for enabling the elongated element to be mounted on the pegboard so the elongated elements extend generally at right angles from the pegboard. A placard, at the end of each of the elongated elements removed from the pegboard and farther from the pegboard than the articles and cards carried by the elongated elements, carries indicia about one of the articles on the mounting structure and a sample of the article in such a manner that the indicia and the sample article are clearly visible without obstruction to purchasers. The sample is the same as the article.
While the system and device disclosed in the Weck et al. patent has increased the sales of the articles, we believe that sales can be further increased by replacing the indicia on the placard with a video display, preferably presented on a liquid crystal display (LCD) screen. Because the video display is on the placard, the video display is positioned farther from the mounting structure than articles carried by the elongated elements. The video display is arranged for displaying a video about one of the articles on the elongated element in such a manner that the video display, the sample article on the placard and the articles carried by the cards on the elongated members are clearly visible to purchasers. Preferably, the video display runs continuously.
An electronic memory device, such as a digital video disc (DVD) player, stores the video content to be displayed on the screen. Such a DVD player can be mounted on the front face of the vertically extending mounting structure, in which case the DVD player is preferably located in a tamper-proof housing. Alternatively, the DVD player is located on the rear face of the mounting structure so it is not readily accessible to persons in a retail establishment where the display system is located. The DVD player can be connected by wires to a driver for the LCD; such a driver is preferably located in a tamper-proof container on the top of the elongated elements or next to the DVD player. Alternatively, a short range, wide band wireless link, e.g. conforming with Bluetooth specifications, can be provided between a transmitter located at the DVD player and a receiver located on the placard carrying the LCD. Alternatively, the video content can be stored in a semiconductor read only memory (ROM) formed as an integrated circuit on the same substrate as the substrate that carries the LCD. In such a case, the placard can include a dry cell battery, or a battery or capacitor driven by current from a photovoltaic cell responsive to ambient light in the retail establishment where the point-of-purchase display is located. The battery powers the ROM and LCD.
- BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
Still other objects and advantages of the present invention will become readily apparent to those skilled in the art from the following detailed description, wherein the preferred embodiments of the invention are shown and described, simply by way of illustration of the best mode contemplated of carrying out the invention. As will be realized, the invention is capable of other and different embodiments, and its several details are capable of modifications in various obvious respects, all without departing from the invention. Accordingly, the drawings and description thereof are to be regarded as illustrative in nature, and not as restrictive.
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a point-of-purchase display system in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a point-of-purchase display device employed in the system of FIG. 1;
FIG. 2A is a perspective view of a portion of the structure illustrated in FIG. 2;
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a second embodiment of a point-of-purchase display device in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the invention; and
- DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
FIG. 4 is a side view of an integrated circuit substrate carrying on the obverse face thereof an LCD and a semiconductor ROM on the back face thereof.
The point-of-purchase display system illustrated in FIGS. 1-3 includes vertically extending, wall mounted apertured or perforated board 10 (commonly known as a pegboard) that is a mounting structure for multiple point-of-purchase display devices, such as display devices 12 and 14. The display devices generally extend parallel to each other in the vertical and horizontal directions, when mounted on pegboard 10. Pegboard 10 includes multiple circular apertures 16, arranged in a rectangular matrix of rows and columns, and typically having a spacing of about 1″ between adjacent apertures. Apertures 16 are receptacles for display devices 12 and 14, each of which can be considered as an elongated element able to receive and carry a plurality of hanger cards 18 on containers 20 for consumer articles to be displayed and sold at a point-of-purchase display system including board 10. Typically, the consumer articles carried by containers 20 are hardware articles, such as screws, nails, picture hangers, nuts and bolts, and can include larger articles, such as drill bits.
At the forward end of display devices 12 and 14, i.e., the portions of the display devices farthest from pegboard 10, are placards 22 and 24 that carry liquid crystal displays (LCDs) 122 and 124, respectively. Each of LCDs 122 and 124 displays to a prospective customer a video message concerning the article in the container 20 carried by its respective display device. Preferably, the video message is continuous and repeats approximately once every one or two minutes.
Each of placards 22 and 24 also carries the same type of article as is in each of the containers (i.e., a sample article 126). The sample articles 126 are next to LCDs 122 and 124 and are viewable by a prospective customer to provide a correspondence between the articles in containers 20 on devices 12 and 14 and the sample articles 126 on placards 22 and 24, respectively. The LCDs 122 and 124 and sample articles 126 are carried by placards 22 and 24 in such a manner that the LCDs and sample articles are clearly visible, with an unobstructed view by a prospective purchaser. We have found, through actual experimentation and experience, that displaying the sample articles on placards 22 and 24, so the prospective purchaser has an unobstructed view of samples of the articles in the containers on devices 12 and 14, has resulted in significantly increased sales of the articles. In many instances sales of the articles have increased by 200 to 300 percent as a result of displaying the sample articles prominently, without obstruction, at the ends of display devices 12 and 14 remote from pegboard 10. We believe the psychological effect of prominently displaying a video about the articles in containers 20 at the ends of display devices 12 and 14 remote from pegboard 10 is sufficiently great to induce substantially increased interest and sales of the articles.
Display device 12, illustrated in detail in FIG. 2, includes two generally parallel horizontally extending elements 26 and 28, each formed of a metal rod, bent into a hook. Each of elongated elements 26 and 28 includes upper leg 30 lower leg 32 and bridge 34 connecting the upper and lower legs to each other. Elements 26 and 28 are connected to each other by transversely extending metal strut 36, having its opposite ends welded to upper legs 30 approximately one-third of the way from the bridge 34 on each of elements 26 and 28 to the forward ends of the elements, i.e., the ends of the elements remote from pegboard 10.
Each of elements 26 and 28 carries a transverse support member, in the form of metal crossbar 38 that enables device 12 to be mounted on the mounting structure comprising pegboard 10. Crossbars 38 are welded to the inner faces of bridges 34 and extend generally parallel to strut 36. Crossbars 38 are mounted on molded plastic base members 40, preferably of the type disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 4,474,351. Each of base members 40 includes two L-shaped lugs 42, having the same spacing from each other as the spacing between adjacent apertures 16 in pegboard 10. Lugs 42 are fitted into apertures 16.
The length of strut 36 and therefore the separation between elements 26 and 28 is such that adjacent lugs 42 on adjacent base members 40 are separated from each other by the same distance as the horizontal spacing between adjacent apertures 16. Since elements 26 and 28 are mounted on the midpoint of crossbars 38, elements 26 and 28 are spaced from each other by approximately 2″, which is the length of strut 36.
The ends of lower legs 32 remote from pegboard 10 are bent slightly upwardly to facilitate insertion, removal and carrying of containers 20 on legs 32. The ends of upper legs 34 remote from pegboard 10 are bent downwardly and the outer surfaces thereof carry tabs 44, which are welded to the downwardly extending ends of legs 30.
Tabs 44 carry placard 22 so the LCD 122 and sample article 126 are farther from the mounting structure comprising pegboard 10 than are containers 20 and the articles therein. Thereby, the prospective purchaser can easily view the video being shown on LCD 122 and the sample article 126. Complete information about the articles in container 20 is obtained from the video on LCD 122 and the sample article 126 on display device 12, without having to remove container 20 from lower leg 32. If, however, the prospective purchaser wants to inspect the article in container 20, he/she can easily do so by removing container 20 from lower leg 32 by slipping hanger 18 over the upwardly extending end of the lower arm remote from pegboard 10. The article is clearly visible, behind plastic, transparent molded window, i.e., shield, 46, adhesively bonded to cardboard base 48 of container 20.
LCD 122 has sufficient area to present a clear video about the article in container 20. To this end, placard 22 that carries LCD 122 and sample article 126 extends in the horizontal direction through a length slightly less than the distance from the aperture on pegboard 10 that receives outer lug 42 of base 40 carrying element 26 to the outer lug of the base 40 that carries element 28. Hence, the horizontal extent of placard 22 is about 3″ to achieve minimum lateral spacing between the vertically extending edges of adjacent placards, e.g., placards 22 and 24. The vertical extent of rectangular placard 22 is such that container 20 can easily be removed from display device 12, without touching placard 22 or the placard on the display device immediately below display device 12. A typical vertical extent of placard 22 is about 2½″. Such dimensions for placard 22 enable maximum packing density of display devices 12 and 14, as well as containers 20, on pegboard 10, and provide sufficient space for LCD 122 and sample article 126.
Display device 14 is generally similar to display device 12, except that display device 14 is particularly adapted to hold larger articles than display device 12. To this end, display device 14 includes three generally parallel, horizontally extending elongated elements 70, 72 and 74, of the same type as elements 26 and 28. Elements 70, 72 and 74 are connected to each other by transverse struts 76 and 78. Display device 14 is particularly adapted to carry relatively lengthy articles, such as drill bits, which are located in sealed containers carried by lower legs 32 of elements 70, 72 and 74. Upper legs 30 of elements 70, 72 and 74 carry tabs 44 for receiving channel 60 of base 50 of placard 24. Placard 24 carries LCD video display 124 with information about the articles on display device 14 and a sample article 126 of the same articles that are carried in the sealed containers located on the lower arms 32 of elements 70, 72 and 74 of display device 14.
The spacing of adjacent elements 70, 72 and 74 from each other is the same as the spacing of adjacent elements 26 and 28 from each other. However, because three of elements 70, 72 and 74 are included in display device 14, LCD 24 has a horizontal extent of about 5″, sufficient to carry samples of longer and larger articles. If necessary, more than three elements can be included on a single display device, with corresponding increases in the horizontal extent of the placards, LCDs and sample articles associated with such larger display devices.
The structure illustrated in FIG. 3 is particularly adapted to be used in combination with a vertically extending slotted wall point-of-purchase display system that comprises a mounting structure for elongated point-of-purchase display device, such as device 80. To insert point-of-purchase display device 80 into the slotted wall, the device includes a pair of vertically extending spaced brackets 82 and 84, each including elongated vertically extending base portion 86, flange 88 and ear 90. Flanges 88 and ears 90 respectively extend in the horizontal and vertical directions, such that the ears are inserted into the slots in the slotted wall mounting structure and the back face of base portions 86 bear against the slotted wall exterior face.
Bases 86 of brackets 82 and 84 respectively carry elongated hook elements 92 and 94 which are similar to elongated elements 26 and 28 of the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2. Elongated elements 92 and 94 are connected together by transverse strut 96. The slots in the wall which receive brackets 82 and 84 are spaced such that generally parallel elongated elements 92 and 94 are spaced from each other by about 2″, the approximate length of strut 96. The forward ends of the upper legs of members 92 and 94 carry placard 98, constructed in the same manner and having about the same dimensions as placard 22. Thus, placard 98 includes a sample article and an LCD video display to present video information about articles carried by containers 20 slidably inserted onto the lower legs of members 92 and 94.
DVD player 100, mounted on perforated board 10, is a dynamic storage device containing the video information presented on LCD 122. DVD player 100 can be mounted on the front of board 10 (as illustrated), in which case the DVD player is located in tamper-proof housing 101. Alternatively, DVD player 100 is mounted on the rear face of board 10, so that it is not accessible to persons in the retail establishment. Shielded coaxial cable 102 supplies the video output of DVD player 100 that carries information about the article in container 20, to LCD driver 104, which in turn drives LCD 122 with a suitable video signal via cable 106. Video player 100 includes a DC output that is connected by wires 108 to driver 104 and LCD 122 as a DC power supply source for the driver and LCD. Legs 30 carry cable 102 and wires 108 while the tamper-proof housing 101 of driver 104 is fixedly mounted on the top of legs 30 immediately behind placard 22. It is to be understood that the video sources need not necessarily be mounted on board 10 or on the substrates carrying the LCDs, but can be located in the general area of board 10, or even remotely from the board.
Alternatively, the video can be displayed on LCD 122 in response to an input from a viewer of the display. The input can be tactile, in response to the viewer touching a button on board 10, or it can be in response to an audio input from the viewer.
As a further alternative, placard 22 includes a photovoltaic cell for supplying DC energizing voltage to LCD 122, so that the LCD can be responsive to the video signal supplied to it by the DVD player 100.
As another alternative, DVD player 100 can include a short range, wide bandwidth transmitter, e.g., a Bluetooth transmitter, and a suitable receiver can be mounted on the substrate carrying LCD 122. Such an arrangement obviates the need for a shielded cable between DVD player 100 and LCD 122. As mentioned previously, the need for wires to connect DC power from the DVD player to the LCD can be avoided by mounting a dry cell or photovoltaic cell that charges a battery or a capacitor on placard 22.
A further alternative, illustrated in FIG. 4, is to include LCD 122 on the obverse face 130 of substrate 132 carrying LCD 122, having a rear face 134, carrying semiconductor read only memory (ROM) 136 and driver circuitry (not shown) for the LCD and ROM. ROM 136 stores the video content concerning the article in container 20. The ROM 136 is connected directly to LCD 122 and provides continuous video information to the LCD. In such an arrangement, the substrate is powered by a dry cell battery or by a battery or a capacitor that is charged by a photovoltaic cell to supply DC energizing voltage to the LCD, the ROM, and the circuitry for driving the ROM and LCD. Such a DC energizing source is carried by placard 22.
It is also to be understood that the memory, whether in DVD, ROM or some other format, can supply audio information to the prospective purchaser about the article in container 20. The audio signal stored in the memory drives a suitable amplifier and speaker arrangement, typically mounted on board 10. However, a disadvantage associated with an audio presentation is that only one audio presentation about a particular product can be presented at a time. Otherwise, a prospective purchaser would be provided with confusing audio information, none of which might be perceptible.
Further, a single DVD player 100 and LCD driver can drive several LCDs by using a suitable multiplexer, such that the DVD player is connected to the LCD driver that feeds an input of the multiplexer and outputs of the multiplexers are coupled to the separate LCDs. Such an arrangement, in addition to being economical, has the advantage of enabling all the LCDs associated with the same type of article in containers 20 to start and stop simultaneously.
While there have been described and illustrated several specific embodiments of the invention, it will be clear that variations in the details of the embodiments specifically illustrated and described can be made without departing from the true spirit and scope of the invention, as defined in the appended claims. For example, the memory storing the video can be a video cassette recorder (VCR) or a hard disk, of the type employed in a personal computer. The invention also contemplates the placard carrying the video display without having a sample article mounted thereon.