US20070108142A1 - Merchandise display rack - Google Patents

Merchandise display rack Download PDF

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Publication number
US20070108142A1
US20070108142A1 US11/583,450 US58345006A US2007108142A1 US 20070108142 A1 US20070108142 A1 US 20070108142A1 US 58345006 A US58345006 A US 58345006A US 2007108142 A1 US2007108142 A1 US 2007108142A1
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United States
Prior art keywords
pusher
sidewall
product
pair
frame
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Abandoned
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US11/583,450
Inventor
Merle Medcalf
Michael Medcalf
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Excell Products Inc
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Excell Products Inc
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Priority to US73781905P priority Critical
Application filed by Excell Products Inc filed Critical Excell Products Inc
Priority to US11/583,450 priority patent/US20070108142A1/en
Assigned to EXCELL PRODUCTS, INC. reassignment EXCELL PRODUCTS, INC. ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: MEDCALF, MERLE D., MEDCALF, MICHAEL D.
Publication of US20070108142A1 publication Critical patent/US20070108142A1/en
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

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    • 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

A merchandise display rack is provided for displaying a row of merchandise on a store shelf and feeding the row of merchandise forward on a store shelf as merchandise at the front of the row of merchandise is removed by a customer. The merchandise display rack includes a pusher frame, a pusher plate assembly and a pusher plate biasing assembly supported on opposing sidewalls of the display rack and connected to the pusher plate assembly.

Description

    CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
  • This application claims benefit under 35 U.S.C. 119(e) of U.S. Ser. No. 60/737,819, filed Nov. 17, 2005.
  • BACKGROUND OF INVENTION
  • 1. Field of Invention
  • The present invention relates to a merchandise display rack, and more particularly but not by way of limitation, to a merchandise display rack for feeding a row of merchandise forward on a store shelf as merchandise at the front of the row of merchandise is removed by a customer.
  • 2. Brief Description of the Prior Art
  • Products or merchandise of various types and sizes are commonly stored on display shelves in stores so that customers can see the products or merchandise and select products or merchandise for purchase. In some instances, shelves are inclined downwardly from the rear to the front so that the merchandise can be gravity fed to the front of the shelf. However, the use of the downwardly inclined shelves are often not satisfactory because the merchandise at times does not slide smoothly down the shelf and can fall over thereby jamming the row of merchandise from feeding properly. Also, customers may have difficulty in viewing products on lower shelves when the shelves are downwardly inclined. To overcome this problem various prior art devices have been proposed for use on grocery store shelves for feeding each row of merchandise to the front of the shelf. In most instances, spring loaded pusher devices have been employed. However, the prior art devices have suffered from the disadvantage in that it is difficult to adjust such spring loaded pusher systems so that such systems accommodate merchandise of different sizes and weights.
  • Thus, the need exists for improved merchandise display racks which can be readily adjusted to accommodate merchandise of different sizes and weights, and which are economical to manufacture and substantially maintenance free. It is to such a merchandise display rack that the present invention is directed.
  • SUMMARY OF THE PRESENT INVENTION
  • In one aspect of the present invention, a merchandise display rack for feeding merchandise or products arranged in rows on a shelf to the front of the shelf is provided. Broadly, the merchandise display rack includes a pusher frame and a pusher plate assembly. The pusher frame is characterized as having a front end, a rear end, a first sidewall, a spatially disposed second sidewall and a product receiving space formed between the first and second sidewalls for receiving a row of merchandise or product. If the merchandise display rack is to be used in combination with a wire shelf, the pusher frame may also include a bottom for providing a smooth surface over which the merchandise can travel as the merchandise is moved through the product receiving space of the merchandise display rack. A stop plate assembly is removably connected to the front end of the merchandise display rack for preventing forward movement of the product past the stop plate assembly and to secure the forward most merchandise in the row of merchandise in a stable position.
  • In order to move the pusher plate assembly forward along the pusher frame as merchandise is removed from a row a merchandise supported in the product receiving space of the merchandise display rack, the merchandise display rack also includes a pusher plate biasing assembly. The pusher plate biasing assembly includes a plurality rollers having circumferential grooves, a pair of the rollers being connected to each of the first and second sidewalls of the pusher frame such that the rollers are disposed between the stop plate assembly and the pusher plate assembly. The rollers on the first sidewall are vertically aligned; and the rollers on the second sidewall are likewise vertically aligned. Further, the rollers on the first sidewall are disposed in a facing relationship and aligned with the rollers on the second sidewall. Each of the sidewalls is further provided with a pusher stop member located near the front end of the pusher frame for engaging the pusher assembly when the pusher assembly is disposed in the forward most position.
  • The pusher plate biasing assembly of the merchandise display rack further includes a first bungee cord disposed along the first sidewall, the first bungee cord operably engaging the rollers disposed on the first sidewall, and a second bungee cord disposed along the second sidewall, the second bungee cord operably engaging the rollers disposed on the second sidewall. The first and second bungee cords cooperate to bias the pusher plate assembly in a forward position so as to insure that merchandise or product is moved forward in the product receiving space of the merchandise display rack when the forward most merchandise or product in the row of merchandise or product supported in the product receiving space is removed by a customer.
  • More specifically, the first bungee cord is connected to the first sidewall near the rear end of the pusher frame and extends around one of the rollers supported on the first sidewall, around a post or roller supported on the pusher plate assembly, around the second roller on the first sidewall and back to a connection point or roller attached to the first sidewall near the rear end of the pusher frame. Similarly, the second bungee cord is connected to the second sidewall near the rear end of the pusher frame and extends around one of the rollers supported on the second sidewall, around a post or roller supported on the pusher plate assembly, around the second roller on the second sidewall and back to a connection point or roller attached to the second sidewall near the rear end of the pusher frame.
  • The pusher frame further includes a rail assembly for supporting and stabilizing the pusher plate assembly as the pusher plate assembly travels along the product receiving space of the merchandise display rack. More specifically, the rail assembly includes a pair of first rail members extending along an inner side of the first sidewall of the pusher frame, a pair of spatially disposed second rail members extending along an inner side of the second sidewall of the pusher frame so as to be substantially aligned with, and in a facing relation with the pair of first rail members on the first sidewall of the pusher frame. The first rail members are spatially disposed such that the pair of rollers rotatably connected to the first sidewall and the first bungee cord are disposed therebetween. Similarly, the second rail members are spatially disposed so that the pair of rollers rotatably connected to the second sidewall and the second bungee cord are disposed between the second rail members on the second sidewall of the pusher frame.
  • The pusher plate assembly includes a pusher sled assembly slidably mounted on the first and second rail members disposed along the first and second sidewalls of the pusher frame. The pusher sled assembly includes a first substantially L-shaped pusher plate having a first leg and a second leg and a second substantially L-shaped pusher plate having a first leg and a second leg. Each of the second legs of the first and second pusher plates is provided with tubular members on a rear side thereof which permit the first and second pusher plates to be connected via a pair of connector members extending therebetween. If desired, the connector members can be disconnected and a divider plate positioned between the pair of L-shaped plate members so as to form two product receiving spaces between the first and second sidewalls.
  • The first legs of the first and second pusher plates of the pusher sled assembly are each provided with a pair or first and second of spatially disposed track followers which operably engage the first and second rail members extending along an inner surface of the first and second sidewall of the pusher frame. Thus, the first and second track followers cooperate with the first and second rails and the pusher plate biasing assembly to selectively move the pusher plates through the product receiving space of the pusher frame.
  • Exterior sides of the first and second sidewalls are each provided with a pair of spatially disposed guide tracks so that additional sidewalls can be incorporated into the pusher frame of the merchandise display rack of the present invention, whereby additional product receiving spaces are is formed, each containing a pusher assembly constructed in the manner hereinbefore described and which are properly connected between the sidewalls of the pusher frame in the same manner that the pusher assembly is connected between the first and second sidewalls of the pusher frame.
  • An object of the present invention is to provide a new and improved merchandise display rack for merchandise display on shelves in retail and wholesale outlets and dispensing shelves in grocery stores and the like.
  • Another object of the present invention, while achieving the before-stated object, is to provide an improved method of displaying and dispensing merchandise in retail and wholesale outlets.
  • Another object of the present invention, while achieving the before-stated objects, is to provide an improved merchandise display rack capable of being adjusted to display products of various weights and sizes.
  • Another object of the present invention, while achieving the before-stated objects, is to provide a merchandise display rack which is economical to manufacture and substantially maintenance free.
  • Other objects, advantages and features of the present invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art from a reading of the following detailed description.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • The present invention will be better understood from the following detailed description of an exemplary embodiment of the invention, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which;
  • FIG. 1 is a fragmental, partially cutaway pictorial representation of a merchandise display rack constructed in accordance with the present invention.
  • FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the merchandise display rack of FIG. 1.
  • FIG. 3A is a cross-sectional view of the merchandise display rack of FIG. 2 taking along line 3A-3A thereof.
  • FIG. 3B is a cross-sectional view of the merchandise display rack of FIG. 2 taken along line 3B-3B thereof.
  • FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of the merchandise display rack of FIG. 2 taking along 4-4 thereof.
  • FIG. 5 is an elevational view of one side of the merchandise display rack, the view being from an outer side of the side.
  • FIG. 6 is a elevational view of the side of FIG. 5 having a wedge disposed thereunder for providing a slope from the rear of the merchandise display rack towards the front end thereof.
  • FIG. 7 is a fragmental, top elevational view of the merchandise display rack of FIG. 1 having a plurality of packages of paper plates supported within a product receiving space of the merchandise display rack.
  • FIG. 8 is fragmental, top plan view of a merchandise display rack constructed in accordance with the present invention, wherein a divider has been positioned within the product receiving space thereof.
  • FIG. 9 is a top plan view illustrating two merchandise display racks of the present invention utilized together.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • Referring now to the drawings, and more particularly to FIGS. 1 and 2, shown therein is a merchandise display rack 10 constructed in accordance with the present invention. The merchandise display rack 10 functions to feed a row of merchandise or product forward on a store shelf as merchandise or product at the front of the row of merchandise is removed by a customer. The merchandise display rack 10 includes a pusher frame 12 and a pusher plate assembly 14. The pusher frame 12 is characterized as having a front end 16, a rear end 18 (FIG. 2), a first sidewall 20, a spatially disposed second sidewall 22 and a product receiving space 24 formed between the first and second sidewalls 20 and 22 for receiving a row of merchandise or product 26 (FIGS. 7 and 8). If the merchandise display rack 10 is used in combination with a wire shelf, the pusher frame 12 may also include a bottom 28 for providing a smooth surface over which the merchandise or product can travel as the merchandise or product is moved through the product receiving space 24 of the merchandise display rack 10. A stop plate assembly 30 is removably connected to the front end 16 of the merchandise display rack 10 for preventing forward movement of the product past the stop plate assembly 30 and to secure the forward most merchandise or product in the row of merchandise or product in a stable position (FIGS. 2-3B and 7-8).
  • In order to move the pusher plate assembly 14 forward along the pusher frame 12 as merchandise or product is removed from a row of merchandise or product supported in the product receiving space 24 of the merchandise display rack 10, the merchandise display rack 10 also includes a pusher plate biasing assembly 32. The pusher plate biasing assembly 32 includes a pair of rollers 34 and 36 connected to the first sidewall 20 of the pusher frame 12 (FIGS. 3B and 4) and a pair of rollers 38 and 40 connected to the second sidewall 22 of the pusher frame 12 (FIGS. 3A and 4). The rollers 34 and 36 are rotatably connected to the first sidewall 20 such that the rollers 34 and 36 are disposed between the stop plate assembly 30 and the pusher plate assembly 14. In addition, the rollers 34 and 36 rotatably mounted on the first sidewall 20 of the pusher frame 12 are vertically aligned (FIGS. 3B and 4). Similarly, the rollers 38 and 40 are rotatably connected to the second sidewall 22 such that the rollers 38 and 40 are disposed between the stop plate assembly 30 and the pusher plate assembly 14 and the rollers 38 and 40 on the second sidewall 22 of the pusher frame 12 are likewise vertically aligned (FIGS. 1,3A and 4). Further, the rollers 34 and 36 rotatably mounted on the first sidewall 20 of the pusher frame 12 are disposed in a facing relationship and are aligned with the rollers 38 and 40 on the second sidewall 22 of the pusher frame 12.
  • The pusher plate biasing assembly 32 of the merchandise display rack 10 further includes a first bungee cord 42 disposed along the first sidewall 20 of the pusher frame 12 (FIGS. 1 and 3B) and a second bungee cord 44 disposed along the second sidewall 22 of the pusher frame 12 (FIGS. 1 and 3A). The first bungee cord 42 operably engages the rollers 34 and 36 rotatably mounted on the first sidewall 20 of the pusher frame 12 and the pusher plate assembly 14; and the second bungee cord 44 operably engages the rollers 38 and 40 rotatably mounted on the second sidewall 22 of the pusher frame 12 and the pusher plate assembly 14. As will be described in more detail hereinafter, the first and second bungee cords 42 and 44 cooperate to bias the pusher plate assembly 14 in a forward position relative to the pusher frame 12 of the merchandise display rack 10.
  • Referring now to FIGS. 1, 3A and 3B, the first bungee cord 42 is connected to the first sidewall 20 of the pusher frame 12 near the rear end 18 of the pusher frame 20 and extends around the roller 34, around a post or roller 46 supported on the pusher plate assembly 14 (FIGS. 3B and 4), around the roller 36 and back to a connection post or roller 48 attached to the first sidewall 20 near the rear end 18 of the pusher frame 12 substantially as shown in FIG. 3B. Similarly, the second bungee cord 44 is connected to the second sidewall 22 near the rear end 18 of the pusher frame 12 and extends around the roller 38 supported on the second sidewall 22, around a post or roller 50 supported on the pusher plate assembly 14, back around the roller 40 mounted on the second sidewall 22 and back to a connection post or roller 49 attached to the second sidewall 22 near the rear end 18 of the pusher frame 12 substantially as shown in FIGS. 3A and 4. It should be noted that while the first and second bungee cords 42 and 44 have been shown as an elongated member connected to the respective first and second sidewalls 20 and 22 of the pusher frame 12 via connection posts 48 and 49, the first and second bungee cords 42 and 44 can be continuous members such that the first and second bungee cords are disposed around a post or roller having a circumferential groove formed thereon rather than being connected to the first and second sidewalls 20 and 22 via the connection posts 48 and 49, respectively. Similarly, the post 46 and 50 supported on the pusher plate assembly 14 around which the first and second bungee cords 42 and 44 extend can be a roller having a circumferential groove provided thereon rather than the post as described. The only requirement in the operation of the first and second bungee cords 42 and 44, and their connection to the rollers 34 and 36, and 38 and 40, respectively, is that the first and second bungee cords 42 and 44 are interconnected to the pusher plate assembly 14 so as to bias the pusher plate assembly 14 in a position towards the front end 16 of the pusher frame 12 when merchandise is removed from a row of merchandise supported in the product receiving space 24 of the merchandise display rack 10.
  • As previously indicated, the pusher plate assembly 14 is slidably mounted on the pusher frame 12 so that the pusher plate assembly 14 moves through the product receiving space 24 towards the front end 16 of the pusher frame 12 when merchandise or product is removed from the product receiving space 24 of the merchandise display rack 10.
  • To restrict forward movement of the pusher plate assembly 14 through the product receiving space 24 of the pusher frame 12, the pusher frame 12 further includes pusher stop members 52 and 54 (see FIGS. 1, 3A and 3B). The pusher stop member 52 is connected to the first sidewall 20 of the pusher frame 12 such that the pusher stop member 52 is located between and rearward the rollers 34 and 36 of the pusher plate biasing assembly 32. Similarly, the pusher stop member 54 is connected to the second sidewall 22 of the pusher frame 12 such that the pusher stop member 54 is located between and rearward the rollers 38 and 40 of the pusher plate biasing assembly 32.
  • The pusher stop member 52 and 54 are disposed opposite one another in a facing relationship and adapted to engage the pusher sled assembly 74 of the pusher plate assembly 14 when the pusher sled assembly 74 of the pusher plate assembly 14 is in the forward most position. Thus, the pusher stop members 52 and 54 prevent the pusher sled assembly 74 of the pusher plate assembly 14 from contacting the pair of rollers 34 and 36 rotatably mounted on the first sidewall 20 and the pair of rollers 38 and 40 mounted on the second sidewall 22.
  • Referring now to FIGS. 1-4, the pusher frame 12 further includes a rail assembly 60 for supporting and stabilizing the pusher plate assembly 14 as the pusher plate assembly 14 travels along the product receiving space 24 of the merchandise display rack 10. More specifically, the rail assembly 60 includes a pair of first rail members 62, 64 extending along an inner side 66 of the first sidewall 20 of the pusher frame 12 and a pair of spatially disposed second rail members 68, 70 extending along an inner side 72 of the second sidewall 22 of the pusher frame 12 so as to be substantially aligned with and in a facing relation with the first rail members 62, 64. The first rail member 62, 64 are spatially disposed so that the roller 34 and 36 and the first bungee cord 42 are disposed therebetween substantially as shown in FIG. 3B. Similarly, the second rail members 68, 70 are spatially disposed so that the roller 38, 40 and the second bungee cord 44 are disposed therebetween substantially as shown in FIG. 3A.
  • As more clearly shown in FIGS. 1-3B, and 7-9, the pusher plate assembly 14 includes a pusher sled assembly 74 slidably mounted on the first and second rail members, 62, 64 and 68,70, respectively, disposed along the first and second sidewalls 20 and 22 of the pusher frame 12. The pusher sled assembly 74 includes a substantially L-shaped first pusher plate 76 having a first leg 78 and a second leg 80 and a substantially L-shaped second pusher plate 81 having a first leg 82 and second leg 84. As more clearly shown in FIGS. 3A and 3B, the second leg 80 of the first pusher plate 76 is provided with at least one and desirably, two spatially disposed substantially parallel tubular member 88 and 90 on a rear side thereof; and the second leg 84 of the second pusher plate 81 is are provided with at least one, and desirably two tubular members 92 and 94 on a rear side thereof. The spatially disposed, substantially parallel tubular members 88 and 90 are alignable with the spatially disposed tubular members 92 and 94 whereby the first and second pusher plates 76 and 81 can be connected via a pair of connector members 96 and 98 extending therebetween. The connector members 96 and 98 can be connected to the substantially L-shaped first and second pusher plates 76 and 81 by any suitable connector, such as thumb screws 102 and 104, so that the first and second pusher plates 76 and 81 are secured in a stable position on the connector members 96 and 98. If desired, the connector members 96 and 98 can be disconnected and a divider plate 104 positioned between the first and second pusher plates 76 and 81 so as to form two product receiving spaces 106 and 108 between the first and second sidewalls 20 and 22 of the pusher frame 12 substantially as shown in FIG. 8.
  • The first legs 78 and 82 of the first and second pusher plates 76 and 81 of the pusher sled assembly 74 are each provided with a pair of spatially disposed track followers 110, 112, 114 and 116 which operably engage the first and second rail member 62, 64 and 68, 70 extending along the inner sides 66 and 72 of the first and second sidewalls 20, 22 of the pusher frame 12. Thus, the track followers 110, 112, 114 and 116 cooperate with the first and second rails 62, 64 and 68, 70 and the pusher plate biasing assembly 32 to permit the first and second pusher plates 76 and 81 to be selectively moved through the product receiving space 24 or 106 and 108 of the pusher frame 12.
  • As more clearly shown in FIG. 1, 4-6, the first sidewall 20 of the pusher frame 12 is provided with a pair of substantially parallel, spatially disposed guide tracks 110, 112 on an outer side 122 thereof; and the second sidewall 22 of the pusher frame 12 is provided with a pair of substantially parallel, spatially disposed guide tracks 124, 126 on an outer side 128 thereof. Thus, a third sidewall 130 can be incorporated into the pusher frame 12 of the merchandise display rack 10 of the present invention, substantially as shown in FIG. 9. By incorporating the third sidewall 122 into the pusher frame 12 an additional product receiving space 131 is formed containing the pusher plate assembly 14 constructed in the manner hereinbefore described and which is slidably disposed between the second and third sidewalls 22 and 130 in the same manner that the pusher plate assembly 14 is slidably disposed between the first and second sidewalls 20 and 22.
  • As previously stated, the pusher frame 12 of the merchandise display rack 10 can be connected to a conventional store shelf or, if the store shelf is fabricated of a wire mesh material, the pusher frame 12 is provided with a bottom 28 as hereinbefore described. As more clearly shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 4, the first and second sidewalls 20 and 22 of the pusher frame 12 are provided with a foot portion 132 and 134, respectively, which extends along the length of the first and second sidewalls 20, 22. Thus, when the shelf is a solid shelf, the first and second sidewalls 20, 22 of the pusher frame 12 can be connected to the shelf via the foot portions 124 and 126 by any suitable means such as bolts, screws and the like. Further, when the stop plate assembly 30 is fabricated of two components substantially as shown in FIG. 2, the width of the product receiving space 24 formed in the pusher frame 12 can be readily adjusted by adjusting the distance between the first and second sidewalls 20, 22 of the pusher frame 12 and the distance between the first and second L-shaped pusher plate 76, 81 of the pusher sled assembly 74 as herein before described.
  • The merchandise display rack 10 of the present invention can be constructed of any material. However, desirable results can be obtained wherein the first and second sidewalls 20, 22 and the pusher plate assembly 14 of the merchandise display rack 10 are constructed of plastic materials. Further, in order to provide a view of the row of merchandise 26 provided in the product receiving space 24 of the merchandise display rack 10, the stop plate assembly 30 is fabricated of a clear, transparent polymeric material. Further more, in order to enhance movement of the pusher sled assembly 74 along the first and second rail members 62, 64 and 68, 70 of the rail assembly 60, it is desirable that at least the track followers 110, 112, 114 and 116 of the first and second L-shaped pusher plates 76 and 81 be constructed of a self lubricating polymeric material.
  • FIG. 5 illustrates the merchandise display rack 10 supported on a shelf such that the merchandise display rack 10 is disposed in a substantially horizontal position. However, FIG. 5 shows the use of a wedge 136 in combination with the merchandise display rack 10 so that the merchandise display rack 10 is sloped in a forward direction towards a front edge of the shelf.
  • To employ the merchandise display rack 10 to display merchandise or product on a store shelf, the merchandise display rack 10 is assembled such that the first and second sidewalls 20 and 22 are spaced a predetermined distance apart to define the product receiving space 24 adapted to receive and support the products or merchandise therein. The first and second bungee cord 42 and 44 of the pusher plate biasing assembly 32 are operably connected to the first and second sidewalls 20 and 22 of the pusher frame such that the first bungee cord 42 operably engages the rollers 34 and 36 rotatably mounted on the first sidewall 20 of the pusher frame 12; and the second bungee cord 44 operably engages the rollers 38 and 40 rotatably mounted on the second sidewall 22 of the pusher frame 12. Thereafter, the first and second bungee cords are connected to the pusher plate assembly 14 whereby the pusher plate assembly 14 is biased in a forward position in the product receiving space 24 of the pusher frame 12. Once the merchandise display rack 10 has been assembled, the merchandise display rack 10 is desirably connected to a shelf by any suitable means, such as bolts, screws, clamps, wires and the like. In connecting the merchandise display rack 10 to the shelf, it is desirable that the front end 16 of the pusher frame 12 be disposed substantially adjacent the front edge of the shelf.
  • In those situations where the shelf is constructed of wire, the pusher frame 12 will desirably contain a bottom 24 for providing a smooth surface over which the merchandise or product can travel as the merchandise or product is moved through the product receiving space 24 of the merchandise display rack 10.
  • In order to position the merchandise or product in the product receiving space 24 defined between the first and second sidewalls 20 and 22 of the pusher frame 12, the stop plate assembly 30 is moved toward the rear-end 18 of the pusher frame 12 and held in place while the desired amount of merchandise or product is aligned in a row within product receiving space 24 of the merchandise display rack 10. Once the desired amount of merchandise or product has been positioned within the product receiving space 24 of the merchandise display 10, pressure is removed from the pusher plate assembly 14 whereby the pusher plate assembly 14 is biased in the forward direction in the pusher frame and frictionally engages the product disposed within the product receiving space 24 of the merchandise display rack 10.
  • As product or merchandise is removed from the product receiving space 24 of the merchandise display rack 10, the pusher plate assembly 14 moves in a forward direction along the pusher frame 12 and thus moves the remaining merchandise or product in the product receiving space 24 of the merchandise display rack 10 in a forward direction toward the stop plate assembly 30 connected to the front end 16 of the merchandise display rack 10 for preventing forward movement of the merchandise or product past the stop plate assembly 30 and thereby secure the forward most merchandise or product in the row of merchandise or product in a stable position within the product receiving space 24 of the merchandise display rack 10.
  • As additional merchandise or product is removed from the product receiving space 24 of the merchandise display rack 10, and as the pusher plate assembly is moved forward along the pusher frame as merchandise or product is removed from the row of merchandise or product supported in the product receiving space 24 by the pusher plate biasing assembly 32, the pusher plate assembly 14 engages the pusher stop members 52 and 54 to restrict forward movement of the pusher plate assembly 14 through the product receiving space 24 so as to provide the last row of merchandise or product to be disposed adjacent stop plate assembly 30 while at the same time preventing the pusher plate assembly 14 from engaging the pair of rollers 34 and 36 and 38 and 40 of the pusher plate biasing assembly 32 so as to prevent contact of the pusher sled assembly 74 of the pusher plate assembly 14 from contacting such rollers and causing damage thereto. Once the last item of merchandise and/or product has been removed from the merchandise display rack 10, additional product can be placed within the product receiving space 24 formed between the first and second sidewalls 20 and 22 of the pusher frame 12. However, if merchandise or product of different size are to be positioned within the product receiving space 24 of the pusher frame 12, the merchandise display rack 10 is removed from the shelf and the width of the product receiving space 12 is adjusted by adjusting the distance between the first and second pusher plates 76 and 81 of the pusher sled assembly 74.
  • When desired, additional sidewalls can be combined with the first and second sidewalls 20 and 22 of the pusher frame assembly 12 so as to provide the merchandise display rack with a plurality of product receiving spaces 12 which may have the same width as that formed between the first and second sidewalls 20 and 22, or different widths in order to accommodate merchandise and product having different widths.
  • It should be understood that the specific embodiments of the invention herein illustrated and described are intended to be representative only, and certain changes may be made therein without departing from the teachings of the written description and the accompanying drawings.

Claims (12)

1. A merchandise display rack positionable on a shelf for maintaining product on the shelf, the merchandise display rack comprising:
a pusher frame having a front end, a rear end, a first sidewall, a spatially disposed second sidewall and at least one product receiving space formed between the first and second sidewalls for receiving a row of product;
a pusher plate assembly disposed in the at least one product receiving space, the pusher plate assembly selectively movable through the at least one product receiving space for moving product through the at least one product receiving space when the forward most product is removed from the at least one product receiving space of the pusher frame;
a stop plate assembly connected to the front end of the pusher frame for stabilizing product in the at least one product receiving space and for preventing discharge of product from the at least one product receiving space as the product is caused to move forward through the at least one product receiving space of the pusher frame; and
a pusher plate biasing assembly for biasing the pusher plate assembly forward toward the stop plate assembly, the pusher plate biasing assembly comprising:
a plurality of rollers, each of the rollers having a circumferential groove, a pair of the rollers rotatably connected to the first and second sidewalls of the pusher frame such that the pair of rollers rotatably connected to the first sidewall are vertically aligned, the pair of rollers rotatably connected to the second sidewall are vertically aligned and the pair of rollers rotatably connected to the first sidewall are disposed in a facing relationship with and aligned with the pair of rollers rotatably connected to the second sidewall;
a first bungee cord disposed along the first sidewall of the pusher frame so as to operably engage the pair of rollers rotatably connected to the first sidewall, the first bungee cord engaging the pusher plate assembly so as to bias the pusher plate assembly in a forward position; and
a second bungee cord disposed along the second sidewall of the pusher frame so as to operably engage the pair of rollers rotatably connected to the second sidewall, the second bungee cord engaging the pusher plate assembly so as to bias the pusher plate assembly in a forward position whereby the first and second bungee cords cooperate to move the pusher plate assembly in a forward direction to ensure that product is moved forward in the product receiving space of the merchandise rack when the forward most product in the row of product supported in the product receiving space is removed.
2. The merchandise display rack of claim 1 further comprising:
a first pusher stop member connected to the first sidewall of the pusher frame so as to be disposed near the front end of the pusher frame and rearward the pair of rollers rotatably connected to the first sidewall;
a second pusher stop member connected to the second sidewall of the pusher frame so as to be disposed near the front end of the second sidewall of the pusher frame and rearward of the pair of rollers rotatably connected to the second sidewall, the first and second stop pusher stop members adapted to engage the pusher plate assembly when the pusher plate assembly is in the forward most position for preventing contact of the pusher plate assembly with the pair of rollers rotatably mounted on the first and second sidewalls of the pusher frame.
3. The merchandise display rack of claim 1 wherein the pusher frame further comprises:
a rail assembly for supporting and stabilizing the pusher plate assembly as the pusher plate assembly travels along the product receiving space of the pusher frame.
4. The merchandise display rack of claim 3 wherein the rail assembly comprises:
a pair of first rail members extending along an inner side of the first sidewall of the pusher frame; and
a pair of second rail members extending along an inner side of the second sidewall of the pusher frame so as to be substantially aligned with and in a facing relationship with the pair of first rail members on the first side of the pusher frame, the first rail members being spatially disposed such that the pair of rollers rotatably connected to the first sidewall and the first bungee cord are disposed therebetween, and wherein the second rail members are spatially disposed so that the pair of rollers rotatably connected to the second sidewall and the second bungee cord are disposed therebetween.
5. The merchandise display rack of claim 4 wherein the pusher plate assembly comprises:
a pusher sled assembly slidably mounted on the first and second rail members of the pusher frame, the pusher sled assembly operably connected to the first and second bungee cords of the pusher plate biasing assembly for selectively moving the pusher sled assembly along the at least one product receiving space when product is removed from the product receiving space.
6. The merchandised display rack of claim 5 wherein the pusher sled assembly comprises:
a first substantially L-shaped pusher plate having a first leg and a second leg;
a second substantially L-shaped pusher plate having a first leg and a second leg;
a pair of spatially disposed track followers provided on the first leg of the first pusher plate for operably engaging the pair of first rail members extending along an inner surface or the inner side of the first sidewall of the pusher frame; and
a pair of spatially disposed track followers provided on the first leg of the second pusher plate of the pusher sled assembly for operably engaging the pair of second rail members extending along an inner surface of the second sidewall of the pusher frame, the first legs of the first and second pusher plates being operably connected to the first and second bungee cords, respectively, of the pusher plate biasing assembly such that the track followers on the first pusher plate operably engage the pair of first rail members extending along the inner surface of the first sidewall of the pusher frame and the track followers on the second pusher plate operably engage the pair of second rail members extending along the inner surface of the second sidewall of the pusher frame whereby the first and second pusher plates cooperate with the first and second bungee cords of the pusher plate biasing assembly, respectively, to permit the first and second pusher plates to be selectively moved through the product receiving space of the pusher frame.
7. The merchandise display rack of claim 5 further comprises:
a first pusher stop member connected to the first sidewall of the pusher frame so as to be disposed near the front end of the pusher frame and rearward the pair of rollers rotatably connected to the first sidewall;
a second pusher stop member located near the front end of the second sidewall of the pusher frame so as to be disposed rearward of the pair of rollers rotatably connected to the second sidewall, the first and second stop pusher stop members adapted to engage the pusher plate assembly when the pusher plate assembly is in the forward most position for preventing contact of the pusher plate assembly with the pair of rollers rotatably mounted on the first and second sidewalls of the pusher frame.
8. The merchandise display rack of claim 1 wherein the first and second sidewalls of the pusher frame are further characterized as having exterior sides and wherein each of the exterior sides of the first and second sidewalls are provided with a pair of spatially disposed guide tracks so that additional sidewalls can be incorporated into the pusher frame, whereby additional product receiving spaces are formed and a pusher plate assembly is disposed in the additional product receiving spaces for selectively moving product through the additional product receiving spaces when the forward most product is removed from the additional product receiving spaces of the pusher frame.
9. The merchandise display rack of claim 8 wherein the pusher frame assembly further comprising:
a first pusher stop member connected to the first sidewall of the pusher frame so as to be disposed near the front end of the pusher frame and rearward the pair of rollers rotatably connected to the first sidewall;
a second pusher stop member connected to the second sidewall of the pusher frame so as to be disposed near the front end of the second sidewall of the pusher frame and rearward of the pair of rollers rotatably connected to the second sidewall, the first and second stop pusher stop members adapted to engage the pusher plate assembly when the pusher plate assembly is in the forward most position for preventing contact of the pusher plate assembly with the pair of rollers rotatably mounted on the first and second sidewalls of the pusher frame.
10. The merchandise display rack of claim 9 wherein the pusher frame further comprising a rail assembly for supporting and stabilizing the pusher plate assembly as the pusher plate assembly travels along the product receiving space of the pusher frame.
11. The merchandise display rack of claim 10 wherein the rail assembly comprises:
a pair of first rail members extending along an inner side of the first sidewall of the pusher frame; and
a pair of second rail members extending along an inner side of the second sidewall of the pusher frame so as to be substantially aligned with and in a facing relationship with the pair of first rail members on the first side of the pusher frame, the first rail members being spatially disposed such that the pair of rollers rotatably connected to the first sidewall and the first bungee cord are disposed therebetween, and wherein the second rail members are spatially disposed so that the pair of rollers rotatably connected to the second sidewall and the second bungee cord are disposed therebetween.
12. A method for displaying and storing merchandise on a shelf comprising the steps of:
providing a merchandise display rack wherein the merchandise display rack comprises:
a pusher frame having a front end, a rear end, a first sidewall, a spatially disposed second sidewall and at least one product receiving space formed between the first and second sidewalls for receiving a row of product;
a pusher plate assembly disposed in the at least one product receiving space, the pusher plate assembly selectively movable through the at least one product receiving space for moving product through the at least one product receiving space when the forward most product is removed from the at least one product receiving space of the pusher frame;
a stop plate assembly connected to the front end of the pusher frame for stabilizing product in the at least one product receiving space and for preventing discharge of product from the at least one product receiving space as the product is caused to move forward through the at least one product receiving space of the pusher frame; and
a pusher plate biasing assembly for biasing the pusher plate assembly forward toward the stop plate assembly, the pusher plate biasing assembly comprising:
a plurality of rollers, each of the rollers having a circumferential groove, a pair of the rollers rotatably connected to the first and second sidewalls of the pusher frame such that the pair of rollers rotatably connected to the first sidewall are vertically aligned, the pair of rollers rotatably connected to the second sidewall are vertically aligned and the pair of rollers rotatably connected to the first sidewall are disposed in a facing relationship with and aligned with the pair of rollers rotatably connected to the second sidewall;
a first bungee cord disposed along the first sidewall of the pusher frame so as to operably engage the pair of rollers rotatably connected to the first sidewall, the first bungee cord engaging the pusher plate assembly so as to bias the pusher plate assembly in a forward position; and
a second bungee cord disposed along the second sidewall of the pusher frame so as to operably engage the pair of rollers rotatably connected to the second sidewall, the second bungee cord engaging the pusher plate assembly so as to bias the pusher plate assembly in a forward position whereby the first and second bungee cords cooperate to move the pusher plate assembly in a forward direction to ensure that product is moved forward in the product receiving space of the merchandise rack when the forward most product in the row of product supported in the product receiving space is removed;
securing the merchandise display rack to a shelf;
moving the pusher late assembly in a rearward direction to provide access to the product receiving space defined by the merchandise display rack;
aligning product within the product receiving space to form a row of products; and
releasing the pusher plate assembly such that the pusher plate assembly is biased in a forward direction and engages a rearwardly disposed item in the row of product whereby as product is removed from the row of product the pusher plate assembly causes the row of product to move forward in the product receiving space whereby product present in the product receiving space remains visible and accessible to a customer.
US11/583,450 2005-11-17 2006-10-19 Merchandise display rack Abandoned US20070108142A1 (en)

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AS Assignment

Owner name: EXCELL PRODUCTS, INC.,OKLAHOMA

Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:MEDCALF, MERLE D.;MEDCALF, MICHAEL D.;REEL/FRAME:018444/0827

Effective date: 20061018

STCB Information on status: application discontinuation

Free format text: ABANDONED -- FAILURE TO RESPOND TO AN OFFICE ACTION