New! View global litigation for patent families

US20080011696A1 - Merchandising and product display system - Google Patents

Merchandising and product display system Download PDF

Info

Publication number
US20080011696A1
US20080011696A1 US11738559 US73855907A US2008011696A1 US 20080011696 A1 US20080011696 A1 US 20080011696A1 US 11738559 US11738559 US 11738559 US 73855907 A US73855907 A US 73855907A US 2008011696 A1 US2008011696 A1 US 2008011696A1
Authority
US
Grant status
Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
system
according
merchandising
embodiment
product
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
US11738559
Inventor
Gary Richter
Allen Johnson
M. Bryson
Daniel Schiffer
Fredrick Kottke
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
DCI Marketing Inc
Original Assignee
DCI Marketing Inc
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date

Links

Images

Classifications

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

Abstract

A merchandising system for articles comprising a first divider providing a sidewall and a generally longitudinal member along the sidewall and a second divider providing a sidewall and a generally longitudinal member along the sidewall. The first divider is coupled to the second divider to form a compartment for the articles between the sidewall of the first compartment and the sidewall of the second compartment. The compartment has a front and a back. A support for the articles is provided within the compartment between the sidewall of the first divider and the sidewall of the second divider from adjacent the front of the compartment to adjacent the back of the compartment by the member on the first divider and the member on the second divider.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • [0001]
    This Application is a continuation-in-part of co-pending U.S. application Ser. No. 11/051,040, filed on Feb. 4, 2005, which is a continuation-in-part of U.S. application Ser. No. 10/996,170, filed Nov. 23, 2004, which is a continuation of International Application No. PCT/US04/023791, filed on Jul. 23, 2004, which claims the benefit of U.S. Application Ser. No. 60/489,676, filed on Jul. 23, 2003. U.S. application Ser. No. 11/051,040 is also a continuation-in-part application of co-pending U.S. application Ser. No. 10/272,527, filed Oct. 15, 2002, which claims the benefit of U.S. Application Ser. No. 60/329,656, filed on Oct. 15, 2001. U.S. application Ser. No. 11/051,040 is also a continuation-in-part application of co-pending U.S. application Ser. No. 10/132,662, filed on Apr. 25, 2002, which claims the benefit of the following patent applications: (1) U.S. Application Ser. No. 60/286,892, filed on Apr. 26, 2001, (2) U.S. Application Ser. No. 60/313,894, filed on Aug. 21, 2001, (3) U.S. Application Ser. No. 60/329,656, filed on Oct. 15, 2001, and (4) U.S. Application Ser. No. 60/335,924, filed on Oct. 31, 2001.
  • [0002]
    This Application claims the benefit of priority as available under 35 U.S.C. §§119-121 and 365 to the following patent applications (which are hereby incorporated by reference in the present Application): (1) U.S. application Ser. No. 11/051,040, filed on Feb. 4, 2005; (2) U.S. application Ser. No. 10/996,170, filed on Nov. 23, 2004; (3) International Application No. PCT/US04/023791, filed on Jul. 23, 2004; (4) U.S. application Ser. No. 10/272,527, filed Oct. 15, 2002; (5) U.S. application Ser. No. 10/132,662, filed on Apr. 25, 2002; (6) U.S. Application Ser. No. 60/489,676, filed on Jul. 23, 2003; (7) U.S. Application Ser. No. 60/286,892, filed on Apr. 26, 2001; (8) U.S. Application Ser. No. 60/313,894, filed on Aug. 21, 2001; (9) U.S. Application Ser. No. 60/329,656, filed on Oct. 15, 2001; and (10) U.S. Application Ser. No. 60/335,924, filed on Oct. 31, 2001.
  • BACKGROUND
  • [0003]
    The present invention relates generally to merchandising and display systems, and in particular, the present invention relates to a merchandising system providing for orderly presentation, display, storage, arrangement, and dispensing of articles.
  • [0004]
    Conventional merchandising systems may be used for displaying and dispensing an article. Such conventional merchandising systems do not realize certain advantageous features (and/or combinations of features). Conventional merchandising systems may also be used for displaying products in consumer settings such as grocery stores, retail outlets, shops, etc. Such conventional merchandising systems may be used to present, display and store products in fixed or limited spaces such as on shelves, in display cases, in cabinets, etc.
  • [0005]
    It is beneficial when merchandising an article such as a product to allow potential customers to view or handle it in a convenient and comfortable manner. Conventional merchandising systems may display products to a consumer by providing the products in inefficient configurations. Products and product containers come in a variety of sizes and shapes, and some products may be more difficult to merchandise (e.g., present for potential retail sale) than others. Within fixed or limited spaces, conventional merchandising systems may not be configured to optimize the presentation of such products to a consumer. Such conventional merchandising systems also do not always provide convenient ways for dispensing products, especially those with unique or irregular shapes. Ease of use can be an important concern for customers and store personnel. As is sometimes the case, product or container design may be dictated by considerations separate from the ease or difficulty with which the product may be presented.
  • [0006]
    Some conventional merchandising systems may not provide effective arrangements for displaying, storing and presenting articles. Some conventional merchandising systems fail to provide adequate support for articles, as well as smooth, efficient sliding of the article along the length of the system. Some conventional merchandising systems do not provide sufficient arrangements of advancing these types of articles along the merchandising system. Some conventional merchandising systems do not provide strong and/or rigid support for articles. Accordingly, many conventional merchandising systems may not provide articles in a straight, linear, or level arrangement due to sagging, deformation, bowing, deflection and/or movement due to the weight of the articles. In addition, some conventional merchandising systems do not provide for a variety of differently sized articles and are not configured to operate with a variety of shelving structures. Some conventional merchandising systems do not retain articles for proper dispensing. Some conventional merchandising systems are not easily repositionable on a shelving structure. Some conventional merchandising systems are not configured for easy loading or removal of articles or for at least partially restricting movement of the articles along the system. In addition, some conventional merchandising systems are not configured to allow multiple products to be stacked on one another. Some conventional merchandising systems are not configured to prevent articles from sliding in an uncontrolled manner along the length of the system. Some conventional merchandising systems are not configured to prevent articles from tipping and/or falling from the system, especially during movement of the articles.
  • [0007]
    Accordingly, it would be advantageous to provide a merchandising system that is configured for stocking, orderly presentation, and convenient storage of products with various shapes including shapes that may not be easily stored, presented, or displayed, such as products with uniquely shaped containers. It would also be advantageous to provide a merchandising system that is configured for selective modularity in the construction and assembly of the merchandising system. It would further be advantageous to provide a merchandising system that allows for the construction and assembly of a merchandising system with any number of product facings, modules, compartments, etc. It would further be advantageous to provide a merchandising system that advances a product and/or allows a product to advance along a defined path. It would further be advantageous to provide a merchandising system that self-faces articles (e.g., allows articles to move to the front of the system after articles are removed). It would be advantageous to provide a merchandising system that is configured to easily move articles along a path for stocking, aligning, and/or facing purposes. It would also be advantageous to provide a merchandising system that allows multiple (levels of) products to be stacked on one another. It would further be advantageous to provide a merchandising system that is configured to at least partially restrict and/or restrain article movement in one or more level. It would further be advantageous to provide a merchandising system that can evenly distribute the weight of articles and/or products over the length of the system. It would further be advantageous to provide a merchandising system that allows for smooth, controlled, and efficient gliding of articles and/or products along the length of the system. It would further be advantageous to provide a merchandising system that prevents articles from tipping and/or falling when provided in the system, especially during movement of the articles.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0008]
    The accompanying drawing figures, which are incorporated in and constitute a part of the description, illustrate several aspects of the invention and together with the description, serve to explain the principles of the invention. A brief description of the figures is as follows:
  • [0009]
    FIG. 1 is a side perspective view of a merchandising system according to an exemplary embodiment.
  • [0010]
    FIG. 2A is a front perspective view of a merchandising system according to an exemplary embodiment.
  • [0011]
    FIG. 2B is a front perspective view of a merchandising system according to an exemplary embodiment.
  • [0012]
    FIG. 2C is a front perspective view of a merchandising system according to an exemplary embodiment.
  • [0013]
    FIG. 3A is an exploded front perspective view of the merchandising system of FIG. 2A according to an exemplary embodiment.
  • [0014]
    FIG. 3B is an exploded front perspective view of the merchandising system of FIG. 2B according to an exemplary embodiment.
  • [0015]
    FIG. 3C is an exploded front perspective view of the merchandising system of FIG. 2C according to an exemplary embodiment.
  • [0016]
    FIG. 4A is an orthogonal front view of the merchandising system of FIG. 2A according to an exemplary embodiment.
  • [0017]
    FIG. 4B is a detailed view of a portion of the merchandising system of FIG. 4A according to an exemplary embodiment.
  • [0018]
    FIG. 5A is an orthogonal front view of the merchandising system of FIG. 2B according to an exemplary embodiment.
  • [0019]
    FIG. 5B is a detailed view of a portion of the merchandising system of FIG. 5A according to an exemplary embodiment.
  • [0020]
    FIG. 6A is an orthogonal front view of the merchandising system of FIG. 2C according to an exemplary embodiment.
  • [0021]
    FIG. 6B is a detailed view of a portion of the merchandising system of FIG. 6A according to an exemplary embodiment.
  • [0022]
    FIG. 7A is an orthogonal top view of the merchandising system of FIG. 2A according to an exemplary embodiment.
  • [0023]
    FIG. 7B is an orthogonal top view of the merchandising system of FIG. 2B according to an exemplary embodiment.
  • [0024]
    FIG. 7C is an orthogonal top view of the merchandising system of FIG. 2C according to an exemplary embodiment.
  • [0025]
    FIG. 8A is a side view of the merchandising system of FIG. 2A according to an exemplary embodiment.
  • [0026]
    FIG. 8B is a side view of the merchandising system of FIG. 2B according to an exemplary embodiment.
  • [0027]
    FIG. 8C is a side view of the merchandising system of FIG. 2C according to an exemplary embodiment.
  • [0028]
    FIG. 9A is a front perspective view of a merchandising system comprising tabs according to an exemplary embodiment.
  • [0029]
    FIG. 9B is a front perspective view of a merchandising system comprising tabs according to an alternative embodiment.
  • [0030]
    FIG. 10A is a front perspective view of a pusher assembly according to an exemplary embodiment.
  • [0031]
    FIG. 10B is a detailed front perspective view of the pusher assembly according to an exemplary embodiment.
  • [0032]
    FIG. 10C is a detailed perspective view of the pusher assembly positioned in a slot according to an exemplary embodiment.
  • [0033]
    FIG. 11 is a front orthogonal view of a merchandising system according to an alternative embodiment.
  • [0034]
    FIG. 12 is an exploded perspective view of a merchandising system according to an exemplary embodiment.
  • [0035]
    FIG. 13 is a front perspective view of a merchandising system according to an exemplary embodiment.
  • [0036]
    FIG. 14 is an exploded perspective view of a merchandising system according to an exemplary embodiment.
  • [0037]
    FIG. 15 is front elevation view of a merchandising system according to an exemplary embodiment.
  • [0038]
    FIG. 16 is a bottom perspective view of a merchandising system according to an exemplary embodiment.
  • [0039]
    FIG. 17 is a front perspective view of a divider of a merchandising system according to an exemplary embodiment.
  • [0040]
    FIG. 18 is detailed view of portion of dividers of a merchandising system according to an exemplary embodiment.
  • [0041]
    FIG. 19 is a detailed view of a portion of dividers of a merchandising system according to an exemplary embodiment.
  • [0042]
    FIG. 20 is a top elevation view of a member of a merchandising system according to an exemplary embodiment.
  • [0043]
    FIG. 21 is a side elevation view of a connector of a merchandising system according to an exemplary embodiment.
  • [0044]
    FIG. 22 is a bottom elevation view of a connector of a merchandising system according to an exemplary embodiment.
  • [0045]
    FIG. 23 is a front perspective view of a merchandising system according to an exemplary embodiment.
  • [0046]
    FIG. 24 is an exploded perspective view of a merchandising system according to an exemplary embodiment.
  • [0047]
    FIG. 25 is a bottom perspective view of a merchandising system according to an exemplary embodiment.
  • [0048]
    FIG. 26 is a rear perspective view of a merchandising system according to an exemplary embodiment.
  • [0049]
    FIG. 27 is a front perspective view of a divider of a merchandising system according to an exemplary embodiment.
  • [0050]
    FIG. 28 is a front perspective view of a divider of a merchandising system according to an exemplary embodiment.
  • [0051]
    FIG. 29 is a front elevation view of a member of a merchandising system according to an exemplary embodiment.
  • [0052]
    FIG. 30 is a side elevation view of a member of a merchandising system according to an exemplary embodiment.
  • [0053]
    FIG. 31 is a top elevation view of a member of a merchandising system according to an exemplary embodiment.
  • [0054]
    FIG. 32 is a front perspective view of a member of a merchandising system according to an exemplary embodiment.
  • [0055]
    FIG. 33 is a front elevation view of a merchandising system according to an exemplary embodiment.
  • [0056]
    FIG. 34 is a cross-sectional view of the merchandising system of FIG. 23 taken along line 34-34.
  • [0057]
    FIG. 35 is a bottom exploded perspective view of a merchandising system according to an exemplary embodiment.
  • [0058]
    FIG. 36 is a top exploded view of a merchandising system according to an exemplary embodiment.
  • [0059]
    FIG. 37 is a front perspective view of a merchandising system according to an exemplary embodiment.
  • [0060]
    FIG. 38 is a perspective view of a shelf of the merchandising system of FIG. 37.
  • [0061]
    FIG. 39 is a side view of the product holding portion of the shelf of FIG. 38.
  • [0062]
    FIG. 40 is a top view of the shelf of FIG. 39.
  • [0063]
    FIG. 41 is a detail view of a product retaining member of the shelf portion of FIG. 40, showing the area within the oval labeled 17-17 in FIG. 40.
  • [0064]
    FIG. 42 is a detail front perspective view of a portion of the shelf portion of FIG. 39 with one product retaining member exploded from its mounting position.
  • [0065]
    FIG. 43 is a front perspective exploded view of the shelf portion of FIG. 39.
  • [0066]
    FIG. 44 is a perspective view of one embodiment of a double sided product retaining member of the merchandising system of FIG. 37.
  • [0067]
    FIG. 45 is a top view of the product retaining member of FIG. 44.
  • [0068]
    FIG. 46 is a side view of the product retaining member of FIG. 44.
  • [0069]
    FIG. 47 is a front end view of the product retaining member of FIG. 44.
  • [0070]
    FIG. 48 is a perspective view of one embodiment of a single sided product retaining member of the merchandising system of FIG. 37.
  • [0071]
    FIG. 49 is a top view of the product retaining member of FIG. 48.
  • [0072]
    FIG. 50 is a perspective view of one alternative embodiment of a double sided product retaining member adapted for use with the merchandising system of FIG. 37.
  • [0073]
    FIG. 51 is a top view of the product retaining member of FIG. 50.
  • [0074]
    FIG. 52 is a side view of the product retaining member of FIG. 50.
  • [0075]
    FIG. 53 is a front end view of the product retaining member of FIG. 50.
  • [0076]
    FIG. 54 is a perspective view of one alternative embodiment of a single sided product retaining member adapted for use with the merchandising system of FIG. 37.
  • [0077]
    FIG. 55 is a top view of the product retaining member of FIG. 54.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • [0078]
    Reference will now be made in detail to exemplary aspects of the present invention which are illustrated in the accompanying drawings. Wherever possible, the same reference numbers will be used throughout the drawings to refer to the same or like parts.
  • [0079]
    It is to be understood that the inventions are not limited to the details or methodology set forth in the following description or illustrated in the drawings. The inventions are capable of other embodiments or being practiced or carried out in various ways. It is also to be understood that the phraseology and terminology employed is for the purpose of description and should not be regarded as limiting.
  • [0080]
    Referring to the FIGS., exemplary embodiments of a merchandising system are shown. The merchandising system may provide for display, space division, and orderly presentation of products. The merchandising system may provide for selective size (shown as width) adjustment of a product display, “facing,” cell, compartment, or display area, while not requiring the width adjustment of adjacent product displays, “facings,” cells, compartments, or display areas. As shown in FIG. 1, a merchandising system 10 may provide a large number of facings. Should a single facing need to be adjusted (for example, to accommodate a differently sized product), that single facing may be readily adjusted without the need to resize any (or potentially all) of the remaining facings.
  • [0081]
    The merchandising system may further provide for modularity in the construction and assembly of the merchandising system. For example, product displays, “facings,” cells, compartments, or display areas may be added and/or removed to an existing merchandising system by reconfiguring the number and arrangement of dividers and connectors.
  • [0082]
    The merchandising system may be a shelf system, shelf divider system, product facing tray system, product self-facing and organization tray system, divider system, shelf tray system, pusher system, dispensing system, tray system, etc. The merchandising system may be provided for use on a shelf (or any portion of a shelf), shelves, racks, displays, or other merchandising systems, or alternatively may be provided as a separate, independent merchandising system. According to other alternative embodiments, the system may be configured or oriented to provide for vertical size (e.g., height) adjustment.
  • [0083]
    According to an exemplary embodiment shown in FIG. 1, a merchandising system 10 (e.g., grid system, tray system, shelf system, display system, case, divider system, storage system, modular system, etc.) comprises a frame system 12 and a shelving system 14. Frame system 12 (e.g., mounting structure, shelving structure, support, framework, frame, base, bar, grid, housing, storage unit, etc.) comprises a storage unit 52 and a lower portion 48 or section. According to an exemplary embodiment, the system is a refrigerated system configured to display, store and/or dispense product. According to an exemplary embodiment, the system may be configured to contain products and/or containers for foodstuffs or the like, such as yogurt, to be
  • [0084]
    As shown in FIG. 1 storage unit 52 (e.g., support, frame, mount, member, wall, grid, unit, container, etc.) or other support is provided for use with frame system 12. According to an exemplary embodiment shown in FIG. 1 storage unit 52 comprises at least one side 22 and a top section 24 (e.g., top portion, section, overhead, roof, housing, cap, cover, etc.). The sides may be provided with one or more aperture and/or slot for providing an arrangement for positioning the shelving system with respect to the frame system. According to alternative embodiments, any suitable device and/or process may be used to secure the shelving system to the frame system. According to various alternative embodiments, a wide variety of storage units, shafts, supports, sides, covers, etc. may be provided in the merchandising system. According to alternative embodiments, the number, size, position, overall configuration, etc. of the storage unit may vary.
  • [0085]
    As shown in FIG. 1 lower portion 48 (e.g., bottom area or section, concavity, opening, area, basket, basin, reservoir, channel, well, etc.) or other area is provided for use with frame system 12. According to an exemplary embodiment shown in FIG. 1, lower portion 48 comprises an area below sides 22, top section 24 and/or shelving system 14. Lower portion 48 is configured to hold, store and/or display various articles. According to various alternative embodiments, a wide variety of bottom sections, openings, areas, channels, etc. may be provided in the merchandising system. According to alternative embodiments, the number, size, position, overall configuration, etc. of the bottom section may vary.
  • [0086]
    As shown in FIG. 1, shelving system 14 (e.g., frame, tray, shelf system, holder, mounting section or area, etc.) is provided for use with merchandising system 10. According to an exemplary embodiment shown in FIG. 1, shelving system 14 comprises a shelf 54.
  • [0087]
    According to an exemplary embodiment shown in FIG. 1, shelf 54 (e.g., support, frame, guide, beam, ledge, bar, etc.) comprises a body portion 56 and a first end 58. Referring to FIG. 1, body portion 56 (e.g., member, straight section or portion, main section or portion, etc.) is configured to receive and support products as provided in various merchandising systems.
  • [0088]
    Referring to FIG. 1, member or body portion 56 has a generally uniform cross-section and is configured to have a longitudinal axis (from a back end to a front end). According to other embodiments, the body portion may have a cross-section of various shapes (e.g., triangular, rectangular, oval, etc.) and its longitudinal axis may be other than straight (such as curved or arched) and may extend at various angles with respect to the Z-Z axis. Further, the cross-section of the body portion may be non-uniform.
  • [0089]
    According to an exemplary embodiment shown in FIG. 1, body portion 56 extends at a downward angle with respect to the Z-Z axis (e.g., sloping toward the ground and/or horizontal). The angled configuration enables articles to slide toward first end 58 as other articles are removed from shelf 54. For example, as an article located nearest first end 58 is removed, the next product in line is urged forward by gravity toward first end 58.
  • [0090]
    Shown in FIGS. 2A is a first exemplary embodiment of a merchandising system 10 a, shown in FIG. 2B is a second exemplary embodiment of a merchandising system 10 b, and shown in FIG. 2C is a third exemplary embodiment of a merchandising system 10 c, wherein each system may be used with the system described with respect to FIG. 1. As shown, merchandising systems 10 a, 10 b, 10 c have modular configurations that include one or more dividers 20 a, 20 b, 20 c (which may be panels, dividers, separators, divisions, partitions, tracks, extrusions, panels, channels, or other panels or members, frames, supports, walls, partitions, guides, etc.) and one or more connectors 40 a, 40 b, 40 c (which may be interfaces, couplings, connecting members, adjustment members, “combs,” connector modules, etc.). Dividers 20 a, 20 b, 20 c provide space division, separation, organization, and merchandise variously sized products (not shown). Adjacent dividers 20 a, 20 b are coupled with an intermediate link or connector 40 a, 40 b. Adjacent dividers 20 c are coupled directly to one another.
  • [0091]
    Dividers 20 a are shown in FIGS. 2A, 3A, 4A, 4B, 7A, and 8A. Dividers 20 b are shown in FIGS. 2B, 3B, 5A, 5B, 7B, and 8B. Dividers 20 c are shown in FIGS. 2C, 3C, 6A, 6B, 7C, and 8C. Dividers 20 a, 20 b, 20 c comprise a panel section (shown as portion 26 a, 26 b, 26 c) and one or more horizontal portions or sections (shown as portions 28 a, 28 b, 28 c). The divider (which may be tracks, extrusions, panels, channels, open frame or rail, etc.) may be provided in a variety of configurations. According to one particularly preferred embodiment, dividers 20 a, 20 b include end dividers and center dividers. End dividers have an “L-shaped” cross section. Center dividers have a “T-shaped” cross section. End dividers and center dividers may include solid portions and/or portions that include apertures or cut-outs. Divider 20 a (shown in FIG. 2A, 3A, 4A, 4B, 7A, and 8A) and 20 b (shown in FIGS. 2B, 3B, 5A, 5B, 7B, and 8B) provide a horizontal section, or portion (shown as portions 28 a, 28 b), and a panel section, vertical section, division panel or portion (shown as portions 26 a, 26 b). Portions 26 a, 26 b and 28 a, 28 b form a “T-shaped” cross-section. The end dividers comprise one portion 28 a, 28 b on one side of portion 26 a, 26 b to form an “L-shaped” cross-section. Portion 28 a is provided with friction reducing ribs or protrusions (shown as ribs 30 a). Ribs 30 a provide friction reduction on a product support surface (e.g., portion 28 a) such that product which is being displayed or supported on merchandising system 10 a may move more easily along the length of divider 20 a.
  • [0092]
    According to an exemplary embodiment shown in FIGS. 2C, 3C, 6A, 6B, 7C, and 8C, divider 20 c has a “C-shaped” cross-section. Divider 20 c includes a vertical section or portion 26 c, a lower horizontal section 28 c, and an upper horizontal portion 29 c. Portions 28 c and 29 c are configured to attach to portions of adjacent dividers 20 c. Portions 29 c provide additional support for system 10 c. According to various exemplary embodiments, dividers 20 c may be connected together according to any suitable method (e.g., fasteners, adhesives, sonic welding, etc.). Once a desired number of dividers 20 c have been connected, a separate wall 27 c is coupled to the end divider to form system 10 c. According to various alternative embodiments, any number of devices may be used instead of wall 27 c (e.g., a separate end divider may be used that includes two side walls, an upper portion, and a lower portion). Portions 29 c, 26 c, and wall 27 c are shown including apertures 31 c. Apertures 31 c may be used to reduce the amount of material required to manufacture the system and can reduce production costs. According to an alternative embodiment, dividers 20 c may be have an “L-shaped” cross-section. Instead of included portions 29 c which are integrally formed as part of dividers 20 c, a separate top portion may be provided that couples to the dividers to provide overall structural support to the system. The top portion may couple to the end portions and center portions according to any suitable arrangement (e.g., fasteners, adhesives, sonic welding, etc.). The top portion may align with the end dividers to provide an overall rectangle shape. According to alternative embodiments, any number of shapes may be used (e.g., square, pyramid, curved, etc.).
  • [0093]
    Divider 20 a further includes one or more engagement portions 32 a configured to engage, couple, connect, coact or otherwise interface with connector 40 a. As shown in FIG. 4A, engagement portion 32 a comprises a projection or leg 34 a provided on a bottom side of divider 20 a. Leg 34 a is configured to engage with connector 40 a. According to a particularly preferred embodiment, leg 34 a engages connector 40 a via a friction-fit or interference-fit. According to another particularly preferred embodiment shown in FIG. 4B, leg 34 a may be provided with a groove or depression (shown as depression 36 a) which is configured to interface with a projection 42 a on a tooth 44 a of a groove 46 a of connector 40 a.
  • [0094]
    According to a second and third embodiment shown in FIGS. 5A, 5B and 6A, 6B, dividers 20 b and 20 c include one or more engagement portions 32 b and 32 c on a top side of dividers 20 b and 20 c. The bottom sides of dividers 20 b and 20 c are configured to lay (e.g., rest) directly on a shelf (e.g., shelf 54 shown in FIG. 1). Engagement portions 32 b and 32 c are configured to engage with grooves 46 b, 46 c of connectors 40 b and 40 c (e.g., projections 42 b, 42 c and teeth 44 b, 44 c) and comprise projections or legs 34 b and 34 c. According to an alternative embodiment, the divider may be provided without engagement portions. The connector 40 c may be configured to lay (e.g., rest) on top of the horizontal surface of the divider and remain movable with respect to the divider. According to an exemplary embodiment, the connector may include a flat undersurface that rests on the divider. According to various alternative embodiments, any number of configurations may be utilized.
  • [0095]
    As shown in FIGS. 3A and 3B, dividers 20 a, 20 b may be further provided with a slot 50 a, 50 b (which may be a slot, channel, track, guide, pusher track, etc.) for receiving a pusher assembly 60 a, 60 b or other product biasing mechanism (e.g., arm, rod, member, puller, etc.). It should be noted that the various embodiments of the merchandising system shown may be used with any type of panel or divider sections (or partitions), including merchandising systems that are provided without pushers or product biasing mechanisms (e.g., system 10 c). According to various other exemplary embodiments, the slot may be omitted (e.g., system 10 c).
  • [0096]
    Dividers 20 a, 20 b include guides 78 a, 78 b (e.g., runners, tabs, ribs, supports, etc.) located along the sides of dividers 20 a, 20 b. According to an exemplary embodiment, guides 78 a, 78 b are coupled to (e.g., attached to, affixed to, etc.) dividers 20 a, 20 b. Guides 78 a, 78 b have an overall circular cross-section with a substantially hollow interior portion 84 a, 84 b. According to alternative embodiments, the guides may have a cross section of any other suitable shape (e.g., oval, triangular, rectangular, etc.) that will allow articles to be positioned on the shelf. Guides may be used to direct (e.g., guide) the articles along the shelf as they are dispensed. According to an exemplary embodiment, guides 78 a, 78 b provide at least some resistance to prevent sliding of the article when not being dispensed or to slow the dispensing of articles. According to various embodiments, the guides may be integrally formed with the sides of the frame. According to various alternative embodiments, the guides may be formed separately and then connected to the frame by suitable attachment process (e.g., gluing, taping, adhering, sonic welding, etc.).
  • [0097]
    According to an alternative embodiment shown in FIGS. 2C, 3C, and 6B, guides 78 c include channels or tracks 82 c. Tracks 82 c are intended to provide additional support for products that slide along the system. According to a preferred embodiment shown in FIGS. 2C, 6A, 6B and 8C, a second product (shown as yogurt container 81 c) is supported entirely by a first product (shown as yogurt container 83 c). As each product slides along the system, the second product may become unstable. Tracks 82 c provide support to a lower portion of the second product to maintain stability of the second product and prevent the second product from falling over. According to alternative embodiments, the tracks may completely and/or at least partially support the products when provided in the system (e.g., some or all articles may be supported by the track if an article becomes displaced).
  • [0098]
    Connectors 40 a (shown in FIGS. 2A, 3A, 4A, 4B, 7A, and 8A), 40 b (shown in FIGS. 2B, 3B, 5A, 5B, 7B, and 8B), 40 c (shown in FIGS. 2C, 3C, 6A, 6B, 7C, and 8C) of merchandising systems 10 a, 10 b, 10 c may be flat elongated members (which may be a web, mat, etc.). As shown in FIGS. 4A-4B, 5A-5B, and 6A-6B, connectors 40 a, 40 b, 40 c may be provided with a series of grooves 46 a, 46 b, 46 c (which may be notches, grooves, cuts, etc.) thereby forming a series of teeth 44 a, 44 b, 44 c (which may be projections, extensions, etc.). According to various alternative embodiments, a connector may be provided with a series or index of grooves along a portion (either width or length) of the connector (i.e., provided along a partial width or partial length of the connector). According to various alternative embodiments, grooves may be provided at any desired spacing, with any desired number of grooves.
  • [0099]
    Connectors 40 a, 40 b, 40 c configured to coact (e.g., receive, couple, engage or otherwise connect) with dividers 20 a, 20 b, 20 c. As shown in FIGS. 4A-4B, 5A-5B, and 6A-6B, the width of grooves 46 a, 46 b, 46 c is approximately equal to the width of legs 34 a, 34 b, 34 c on dividers 20 a, 20 b, 20 c. Legs 34 a, 34 b, 34 c are intended to provide for a more secure engagement between the connectors 40 a, 40 b, 40 c and dividers 20 a, 20 b, 20 c, by “snapping” or projecting into recess or grooves 46 a, 46 b, 46 c. According to an exemplary embodiment, the projections are slightly rounded along a bottom edge so that they may “snap” into the slots on the connectors. For example, grooves 46 a, 46 b, 46 c include “teeth” or extensions 44 a, 4 b, 44 c along the upper portion that are configured to grip rounded edges 36 a, 36 b, 36 c of legs 34 a, 34 b, 34 c.
  • [0100]
    As shown in FIGS. 4A-4B, 5A-5B, and 6A-6B, connector 40 a engages the bottom side of dividers 20 a whereas connectors 40 b, 40 c engage the upper side of dividers 20 b, 20 c. Connectors 40 b, 40 c are intended to extend substantially the length of dividers 20 b, 20 c. Connectors 40 b, 40 c advantageously allow products to slide along an entire solid surface. Connectors 40 b, 40 c are provided with friction reducing ribs or protrusions (shown as ribs 30 b, 30 c). Ribs 30 b, 30 c provide friction reduction on a product support surface such that product which is being displayed or supported on merchandising system 10 a may move more easily along the length of connector 40 b, 40 c.
  • [0101]
    According to an alternative embodiment, the connector may be provided with a series of straight grooves and teeth. According to other various alternative embodiments, a variety of shapes, sizes, spacings, arrangements, and other configurations may be provided with the connector. According to various alternative embodiments, the connector may comprise tabs or teeth that interlock with the dividers in predetermined locations, thereby adjusting the distance between dividers. According to various other embodiments, the connector may comprise slide mechanisms that enable the divider to slide from one position to another. According to various other embodiments, the connector may comprise any other suitable mechanism for adjusting the divider position, configuration, orientation, etc.
  • [0102]
    Connectors 40 a, 40 b, 40 c may be provided in one or a variety of unit sizes (e.g., length or width) or shapes (e.g., orthogonal or diagonal or curved). According to a particularly preferred embodiment, connector 40 a has a length in the range of about 2 to 8 inches. According to another particularly preferred embodiment, connector 40 a has a length of about 2 to 4 inches. Alternatively, the connector may be provided in (or may be “field-cut” to) a variety of lengths or sizes which allow for the connectivity and/or interface with dividers. According to an exemplary embodiment, connectors 40 b, 40 c have lengths in the range of about 10.0 inches to 36.0 inches. According to a preferred embodiment, connectors 40 b, 40 c have lengths in the range of about 14 inches to about 26 inches.
  • [0103]
    One or more connectors may be provided between adjacent dividers. Providing one connector between adjacent dividers allows the connector to be easily accessed from the front, thereby allowing for adjustment to be accomplished relatively easily. Providing two connectors between adjacent dividers provides for added stability between adjacent dividers.
  • [0104]
    According to an exemplary embodiment shown in FIGS. 2A through 3C, a display portion or device 70 a, 70 b, 70 c may be attached to shelving systems 10 a, 10 b, 10 c for displaying information about the articles (e.g., price, manufacturer, bar code, etc.). As shown in FIGS. 2A through 3C, display portions 70 a, 70 b, 70 c include a front slot or channel 86 a, 86 b, 86 c configured to receive graphics, pricing, bar codes, and/or other information. Channels 86 a, 86 b, 86 c are configured to provide a “stop” for products that are located at the front of the systems. As products advance toward the front of the systems, the products reach channels 86 a, 86 b, 86 c provide a surface for at least partially restraining movement of the products. According to an exemplary embodiment, the lower portions of products rest against the display portions. Display portions 70 a, 70 b, 70 c include back portions 88 a, 88 b, 88 c which are intended to lay on the shelf. According to various embodiments, any suitable device or method may be used to secure the display portion to the shelving system (e.g., gluing, taping, adhering, fastening, etc.). According to an exemplary embodiment, the display portion may be integrally formed with the shelf, divider, and/or connector.
  • [0105]
    According to an exemplary embodiment shown in FIGS. 2A through 3C and 9A through 9B, a tab 80 a, 80 b, 80 c (e.g., front stop, stopper, block, obstruction, plug, cap, etc.) is provided with dividers 20 a, 20 b, 20 c that couples to (e.g., connects to, attaches to, is affixed to, etc.) front ends 62 a, 62 b, 62 c of dividers 20 a, 20 b, 20 c. As shown in FIGS. 2A, 2B, 3A, and 3B, tabs 80 a, 80 b are attached to guides 78 a, 78 b, (e.g., in interior hollow portions 84 a, 84 b of guides 78 a, 78 b) by way of a fastening device (shown as screw 92 a in FIG. 9A) such as a nail, screw, clip, etc. The tab may be coupled to the divider according to any suitable device or method, and may be formed separately or integrally with the divider. According to an alternative embodiment shown in FIGS. 2C, 3C, and 9B, tab 80 c attaches to divider 20 c by sliding into a channel 94 c located on divider 20 c. Tab 80 c includes two members 96 c configured to fit within channels 94 c positioned on each side of divider 20 c. Tab 80 c is held in place by friction between members 96 c and channels 94 c. Ridges may be included on the members and/or the channels to increase resistance. As shown in FIGS. 2A through 3C and 9A through 9B, tabs 80 a, 80 b, 80 c include gripped surfaces 98 a, 98 b, 98 c. Gripped surfaces 98 a, 98 b, 98 c allow articles to be dispensed as desired by providing enough resistance to keep the articles from inadvertently sliding from the merchandising system.
  • [0106]
    Tab 80 a, 80 b is preferably configured such that it restrains the movement of articles being dispensed or urged forward by gravity. According to an exemplary embodiment, tabs 80 a, 80 b, 80 c include an outer curved portion 79 a, 79 b, 79 c configured to provide a return angle for easy reloading of the system. According to an exemplary embodiment, the tabs provided on the divider provide resistance against force applied by the pusher assembly urging articles toward the front of the shelf. In the illustrated embodiment, the tabs are configured such that the removal of an article from the shelf requires more force than the angle of the shelf provides. As shown in FIGS. 7A and 7C, as articles are removed through tabs 80 a and 80 c, members 96 a and 96 c move in the direction of the arrows (yogurt containers 103 a, 102 c at sections “D”). When products are stocked and/or returned through the members, outer curved portions 79 a, 79 c move in the direction of the arrows to allow the product to be placed in the system. The angle of the shelf provides enough force to overcome the friction that may be present between the articles and the shelf, thereby enabling movement of the articles toward the first end of the shelf. According to alternative embodiments, other members may be provided to restrain such movement.
  • [0107]
    According to an exemplary embodiment, pusher assembly 60 a, 60 b (e.g., follower, puller, plate, hook, pull tab, paddle, pusher, biasing device, etc.) is provided with systems 10 a, 10 b. Pusher assemblies 60 a, 60 b are provided for use with merchandising systems 10 a, 10 b for urging articles in one direction or another. According to exemplary embodiments shown in FIGS. 2A, 2B, 3A, and 3B, pusher assemblies 60 a, 60 b include plates 64 a, 64 b (e.g., hooks, pullers, tabs, etc.) and members 66 a, 66 b (e.g., rods, extensions, arms, etc.). According to a preferred embodiment, plates 64 a, 64 b and members 66 a, 66 b are integrally formed as one piece. According to various other embodiments, the plate and member may be formed separately and then attached according to any suitable method (e.g., gluing, taping, adhering, etc.). According to an exemplary embodiment shown in FIGS. 2A, 2B, 3A, and 3B, pusher assemblies 60 a, 60 b are provided for contacting, coacting, biasing, pushing and/or pulling articles placed in merchandising systems 10 a, 10 b. According to alternative embodiments, the pusher assembly may be provided in a variety of sizes and shapes depending on the particular needs associated with the overall merchandising system.
  • [0108]
    According to an exemplary embodiment shown in FIGS. 2A, 2B, 3A, and 3B, pusher assemblies 60 a, 60 b include members 66 a, 66 b which slide through a slot or channel 50 a, 50 b of dividers 20 a, 20 b. According to an exemplary embodiment, pusher assemblies 60 a, 60 b are configured to move (and thereby pull articles) toward a rear 16 a, 16 b of merchandising systems 10 a, 10 b. According to alternative embodiments, the member may be attached to the guide by any other suitable arrangement such as fasteners, screws, rivets, bolts, snaps, clips, clamps or other various connectors or connection methods. As shown in FIGS. 3A and 3B, members 66 a, 66 b may include a handle 72 a, 72 b at an end 68 a, 68 b of members 66 a, 66 b. Handles 72 a, 72 b act to prevent members 66 a, 66 b from sliding too far along slots 50 a, 50 b because handles 72 a, 72 b are configured to be larger than the diameter of slot openings at the rear of the dividers. As shown in FIGS. 10A through 10C, members 66 a, 66 b include a raised portioned 74 a, 74 b (which may be a bump, extension, etc.) configured to provide tension against slots 50 a, 50 b as members 66 a, 66 b are slid through slots 50 a, 50 b. According to an exemplary embodiment, members 66 a, 66 b include apertures or openings 76 a, 76 b. Openings 76 a, 76 b are located adjacent to raised portions 74 a, 74 b to provide some flexibility as raised portions 74 a, 74 b slide along slots 50 a, 50 b. Openings 76 a, 76 b are able to flex inward as members 66 a, 66 b are moved along slots 50 a, 50 b. According to an exemplary embodiment, pusher assemblies 60 a, 60 b may be provided with indicia (e.g., on the face) and may be provided in a variety of sizes and shapes to suit the application (e.g., product size).
  • [0109]
    According to an alternative embodiment shown in FIG. 12, pusher assembly 60 d is pulled toward a front 18 d of system 10 d. Preferably, system 10 d is used with a substantially horizontal shelf so that pusher assembly 60 d is used to pull articles toward front 18 d to align products after supplies have been depleted by customers (e.g., fewer products left on the shelf). When stocking, articles are fed through tabs 80 d at front 18 d of system 10 d. The articles push assembly 60 d backwards toward a rear 16 d of system 10 d.
  • [0110]
    According to an exemplary embodiment shown in FIG. 8A, articles 90 a (shown as yogurt containers) may be stocked (e.g., loaded) in multiple layers (preferably two levels of yogurt containers) on merchandising system 10 a along wire shelf supports 55 a. System 10 a includes wire connectors 57 a for coupling or engaging wire shelf supports 55 a. According to an exemplary embodiment, wire connectors may be provided. Similarly, any number of systems may be provided on wire shelf supports. According to the exemplary embodiment shown in FIG. 8A, wire shelf supports 55 a provide an overall downward angle with respect to the Z-Z axis. According to an exemplary embodiment, wire shelf supports 55 a create an angle in the range of about 4 to 10 degrees with respect to the Z-Z axis (e.g., the horizontal). According to a preferred embodiment, wire shelf supports 55 a creates an angle of about 6 to 8 degrees with respect to the Z-Z axis. Articles may be stocked (e.g., loaded) in multiple layers from either the front or rear of the merchandising system. According to a preferred embodiment, articles are stocked onto the merchandising system from rear end 16 a. Before stocking the articles, pusher assembly 60 a is pulled toward rear end 16 a of system 10 a. As articles 90 a are loaded onto dividers 20 a, pusher assembly 60 a provides resistance or a biasing force against the articles so that each article does not slide in an uncontrolled manner toward front end 18 a of system 10 a. If the articles are free to slide toward front end 18 a, the articles could tip over or fall from the merchandising system altogether. After dividers 20 a have been fully (or partially loaded) as desired, pusher assembly 60 a is positioned at font end 18 a of system 10 a by sliding pusher assembly 60 a along slot 50 a, thereby allowing articles 90 a to slide to front end 18 a as well. Pusher assembly 60 a may then remain at front end 18 a as articles are dispensed. The process may be repeated as necessary each time the shelf is stocked. (See FIG. 7A). According to an alternative embodiment, the pusher assembly may be provided without the guides that are intended to provide suitable resistance to prevent articles from tipping over or falling out of the system when sliding along connector. Guides 78 a are configured to provide support to the sides of articles loaded in the system as the articles advance.
  • [0111]
    According to a second embodiment shown in FIG. 8B, articles 90 b (shown as yogurt containers) may be stocked (e.g., loaded) in multiple layers (preferably two or three levels of yogurt containers) on merchandising system 10 b along shelves 54 b. Shelf 54 b is angled downward with respect to the Z-Z axis in FIG. 8B. According to an exemplary embodiment, shelf 54 b is at an angle in the range of about 2 to 10 degrees with respect to the Z-Z axis (e.g., the horizontal). According to a preferred embodiment, shelf 54 b is at an angle of about 4 to 7 degrees with respect to the Z-Z axis. Articles may be stocked (e.g., loaded) in multiple layers from either the front or rear of the merchandising system. According to a preferred embodiment, articles are stocked onto the merchandising system from rear end 16 b. Before stocking the articles, pusher assembly 60 b is pulled toward rear end 16 b of shelf 54 b. As articles 90 b are loaded onto shelf 54 b, pusher assembly 60 b provides resistance or a biasing force against the articles so that each article does not slide in an uncontrolled manner toward front end 18 b of system 10 b. If the articles are free to slide toward front end 18 b, the articles could tip over or fall from the merchandising system altogether. After shelf 54 b has been fully (or partially loaded) as desired, pusher assembly 60 b is positioned at font end 18 b of shelf 54 b by sliding pusher assembly 60 b along slot 50 b, thereby allowing articles 90 b to slide to front end 18 b as well. Pusher assembly 60 b may then remain at front end 18 b as articles are dispensed. The process may be repeated as necessary each time the shelf is stocked. According to an alternative embodiment, the pusher assembly may be provided without guides that are intended to provide suitable resistance to prevent articles from tipping over or falling out of the system when sliding along the connector. Guides 78 b are configured to provide support to the sides of articles loaded in the system as the articles advance.
  • [0112]
    According to a second embodiment shown in FIG. 8C, articles 90 c (shown as yogurt containers) may be stocked (e.g., loaded) in multiple layers (preferably three levels of yogurt containers) on merchandising system 10 c along shelves 54 c. Shelf 54 c is angled downward with respect to the Z-Z axis in FIG. 8C. According to an exemplary embodiment, shelf 54 c is at an angle in the range of about 2 to 10 degrees with respect to the Z-Z axis (e.g., the horizontal). According to a preferred embodiment, shelf 54 c is at an angle of about 6 to 8 degrees with respect to the Z-Z axis. Articles may be stocked (e.g., loaded) in multiple layers from either the front or rear of the merchandising system. According to a preferred embodiment, articles are stocked onto the merchandising system from rear end 16 c. Tracks 82 c are intended to provide support if needed to prevent articles from tipping over or falling out of the system when sliding along connector 40 c. Tracks 82 c are configured to provide support to portions of articles loaded in that begin to tip over or fall out of the system as the articles advance. Under normal use, tracks 82 c are not intended to contact the articles (e.g., yogurt containers) which are supported by either connector 40 c (e.g., the bottom yogurt container) or a yogurt container underneath a particular yogurt container. According to an alternative embodiment, a pusher assembly may be utilized to help prevent articles from sliding at an undesirable rate along the system.
  • [0113]
    Shown in FIG. 13 is a first exemplary embodiment of a merchandising system 110 a and shown in FIG. 23 is a second exemplary embodiment of a merchandising system 110 b, wherein each system may be used with the system described with respect to FIG. 1. As shown in FIGS. 13 and 23, merchandising systems 110 a, 110 b have modular configurations that include one or more dividers 120 a, 120 b (which may be panels, dividers, separators, divisions, partitions, tracks, extrusions, panels, channels, or other panels or members, frames, supports, walls, partitions, guides, etc.) and one or more members or connectors 140 a, 140 b (which may be interfaces, couplings, connecting members, adjustment members, “combs,” connector modules, tracks, etc.). Dividers 120 a, 120 b provide space division, separation, organization, and merchandise variously sized products. Adjacent dividers 120 a are coupled directly to one another. Adjacent dividers 120 b are coupled with an intermediate link or connector 140 b.
  • [0114]
    Dividers 120 a are shown in FIGS. 13 through 19. Dividers 120 b are shown in FIGS. 23 through 28 and 33 through 36. Dividers 120 a, 120 b comprise a panel section (shown as portion 126 a, 126 b) and one or more horizontal portions or sections (shown as portions 128 a, 128 b). The divider (which may be tracks, extrusions, panels, channels, open frame or rail, etc.) may be provided in a variety of configurations. According to one particularly preferred embodiment, dividers 120 a, 120 b include end dividers and center dividers. The dividers may have an “L-shaped” cross section and/or the dividers may have a “T-shaped” cross section. The dividers may include solid portions and/or portions that include apertures or cut-outs. Divider 120 a (shown in FIGS. 13 through 19) and 120 b (shown in FIGS. 23 through 28 and 33 through 36) provide a horizontal section, or portion (shown as portions 128 a, 128 b), and a panel section, vertical section, division panel or portion (shown as portions 126 a, 126 b). As shown in FIGS. 25, 35 and 36, portions 126 b of system 110 b are laterally spaced apart on a single side of divider 120 b and are staggered on each side of divider 120 b. The staggered configuration allows the system to provide additional support to products while reducing the amount of material needed to manufacture the dividers. Member 140 a, 140 b may be provided on portion 128 a and includes friction reducing ribs or protrusions (shown as ribs 130 a, 130 b). Ribs 130 a, 130 b provide friction reduction on a product support surface (e.g., portion 128 a, 128 b) such that product which is being displayed or supported on merchandising system 110 a, 110 b may move more easily along the length of divider 120 a, 120 b. According to an exemplary embodiment, dividers 120 a, 120 b include vertical ribs 122 a, 122 b (e.g., bars, members, supports, etc.) for added rigidity and/or stability. The ribs may be integrally formed with the divider, formed separately from the divider and fastened according to a suitable manner, etc. According to various exemplary embodiments, the dividers may be connected together according to any suitable method (e.g., fasteners, connectors, adhesives, sonic welding, etc.). Once a desired number of dividers have been connected, a separate wall may be coupled to the end divider to form the system. According to various alternative embodiments, any number of devices may be used instead of a wall (e.g., a separate end divider may be used that includes two side walls, an upper portion, and a lower portion). According to a particularly preferred embodiment, the dividers comprise a “fixed width” system and are not intended to be adjustable in width once connected to adjacent dividers (e.g., the width between adjacent dividers is not intended to be adjustable).
  • [0115]
    As shown in FIGS. 13, 14, 21 and 22, separate connectors 150 a (e.g., fasteners, clips, members, “snap-on top cap,” etc.) are be provided that couple dividers 120 a together to provide overall structural support to the system. The connectors are configured to couple to the end portions and center portions according to any suitable arrangement (e.g., fasteners, adhesives, sonic welding, etc.). As shown in FIGS. 13 and 14, connectors 150 a couple to upper edges 152 a of dividers 120 a within channels or grooves 154 a of connectors 150 a. Grooves 154 a comprise legs 156 a configured to be inserted into apertures 158 a (e.g., slots) provided on dividers 120 a. The connectors may align with the dividers to provide an overall rectangle shape. Connectors 150 a may be locked in place by applying downward force to cause connectors 150 a and divider apertures 158 a to engage. According to other alternative embodiments, any number of shapes may be used (e.g., square, pyramid, curved, etc.). Connectors 150 a may comprise apertures or cut-outs 159 a to reduce manufacturing costs. Connectors 150 a comprise staggered legs 156 a so that a single mold may be used to make each connector used in system 110 a. A staggered configuration is intended to allow the connectors to couple to the dividers at different locations on adjacent dividers.
  • [0116]
    Divider 120 a further includes one or more engagement portions 132 a (e.g., interlocking arrangements such as coacting “dovetail” members) configured to engage, couple, connect, coact or otherwise interface with apertures or openings 121 a provided on the sides of dividers 120 a. As shown in FIGS. 16 and 18, engagement portion 132 a comprises a projection or leg 134 a provided on a bottom side or edge of divider 120 a. Leg 134 a is configured to engage with apertures 121 a. According to a particularly preferred embodiment, leg 134 a engages apertures 121 a with a friction-fit or interference-fit to couple adjacent dividers together.
  • [0117]
    According to an exemplary embodiment shown in FIGS. 23, 28, 34 and 36, dividers 120 b include one or more engagement portions 132 b (e.g., grooves) on a top side of dividers 120 b. The bottom sides of dividers 120 b are configured to lay (e.g., rest) directly on a shelf (e.g., shelf 54 shown in FIG. 1). Engagement portions 132 b are configured to engage with projections 146 b (e.g., teeth) of connectors 140 b and comprise channels or grooves 133 b. According to an alternative embodiment, the divider may be provided without engagement portions of the type shown in the FIGS. The connector may be configured to lay (e.g., rest) on top of the horizontal surface of the divider and remain movable with respect to the divider. According to an exemplary embodiment, the connector may include a flat undersurface that rests on the divider. According to various other alternative embodiments, any number of configurations may be utilized.
  • [0118]
    According to an exemplary embodiment shown in FIGS. 13-15, 17, 19, 23, 28, and 33, dividers 120 a, 120 b include channels or tracks 182 a, 182 b. Tracks 182 a, 182 b are intended to provide additional support for products that slide along the system. According to a preferred embodiment shown in FIGS. 15 and 33, a second product (shown as yogurt container 181 a, 181 b) is supported entirely by a first product (shown as yogurt container 183 a, 183 b). As each product slides along the system, the second product may become unstable. Tracks 182 a, 182 b provide support to a lower portion of the second product to maintain stability of the second product and prevent the second product from falling over. According to alternative embodiments, the tracks may completely and/or at least partially support the products when provided in the system (e.g., some or all articles may be supported by the track if an article becomes displaced). According to various exemplary embodiments, the tracks may be integrally formed with the dividers, formed separate from the dividers, etc.
  • [0119]
    Connectors 140 b (shown in FIGS. 23 through 25, 33 through 34 and 36) of merchandising systems 110 b may be flat elongated members (which may be a web, mat, etc.). As shown in FIG. 34, connectors 140 b may be provided with a series of projections 146 b (which may be notches, grooves, cuts, etc.) thereby forming a series of teeth 144 b (which may be projections, extensions, etc.). According to various alternative embodiments, a connector may be provided with a series or projections along a portion (either width or length) of the connector (i.e., provided along a partial width or partial length of the connector). According to various alternative embodiments, grooves may be provided at any desired spacing, with any desired number of grooves.
  • [0120]
    Connectors 140 b are configured to coact (e.g., couple, engage or otherwise connect) with dividers 120 b. As shown in FIG. 34, the width of projections 146 b is approximately equal to the width of grooves 133 b on dividers 120 b. Grooves 133 b are intended to provide for a secure engagement between the connectors 140 b and dividers 120 b by allowing projections 146 b to “snap” or project into recess or grooves 146 b. According to an exemplary embodiment, the projections are slightly rounded along a bottom edge so that they may “snap” into the slots on the connectors. Projections 146 b may be coupled to different grooves 146 b to adjust the width between adjacent dividers. As shown in FIG. 23, dividers 120 b are separated by a width W3. As shown in FIG. 26, dividers 120 b are separated by a width W4 which is greater than W3. Connectors 140 b are intended to extend substantially the length of dividers 120 b. Connectors 120 b advantageously allow products to slide along an entire solid surface. Connectors 140 b are provided with friction reducing ribs or protrusions (shown as ribs 130 b). Ribs 130 b provide friction reduction on a product support surface such that product which is being displayed or supported on merchandising system 110 b may move more easily along the length of connector 140 b. According to various exemplary embodiments, the connectors may be extruded plastic and may be impregnated with silicone.
  • [0121]
    According to an alternative embodiment, the connector may be provided with a series of straight grooves and teeth. According to other various alternative embodiments, a variety of shapes, sizes, spacings, arrangements, and other configurations may be provided with the connector. According to various alternative embodiments, the connector may comprise tabs or teeth that interlock with the dividers in predetermined locations, thereby adjusting the distance between dividers. According to various other embodiments, the connector may comprise slide mechanisms that enable the divider to slide from one position to another. According to various other embodiments, the connector may comprise any other suitable mechanism for adjusting the divider position, configuration, orientation, etc.
  • [0122]
    According to an exemplary embodiment, a display portion or device may be attached to the shelving systems for displaying information about the articles (e.g., price, manufacturer, bar code, etc.). The display portions may include a front slot or channel configured to receive graphics, pricing, bar codes, and/or other information. The channels may be configured to provide a “stop” for products that are located at the front of the systems. As products advance toward the front of the systems, the products reach the channels provide a surface for at least partially restraining movement of the products. According to various embodiments, any suitable device or method may be used to secure the display portion to the shelving system (e.g., gluing, taping, adhering, fastening, etc.). According to an exemplary embodiment, the display portion may be integrally formed with the shelf, divider, and/or connector. According to various exemplary embodiments, the display portion (e.g., extruded) shown in FIGS. 3A through 3C and 9A through 9B may be used with systems shown in FIGS. 13 through 36.
  • [0123]
    As shown in FIGS. 17, 19, 20, 26 and 34, members 170 a, 170 b (e.g., stop, bar, etc.) are coupled to a apertures, shown as keyhole openings 172 a, 172 b, at rear portions 174 a, 174 b of systems 110 a, 110 b. Members 170 a, 170 b are configured to prevent and/or stop product from falling out of the back of the shelving system (e.g., by force applied from the front of the system, sliding, etc.). The member may be coupled to the divider according to any suitable method. As shown in FIGS. 17, 19, 20, 26 and 34, portions 171 a, 171 b of members 170 a, 170 b are placed through openings 172 a, 172 b and coupled to dividers 120 a, 120 b by friction fit. Members 170 a are configured to include a hinge 176 a that allows portions 175 a to pivot toward the front of system 110 a as product is being stocked or loaded into system 110 a. As shown in FIGS. 19 and 20, portion 175 a is pivoting in a direction to allow product to be placed in system 110 a between dividers 120 a.
  • [0124]
    According to an exemplary embodiment shown in FIGS. 13, 14, 17, 23, 24, 25, 29 through 32, and 33, a tab 180 a, 180 b (e.g., finger, front stop, stopper, block, obstruction, plug, cap, etc.) is provided with dividers 120 a, 120 b that couples to (e.g., connects to, attaches to, is affixed to, etc.) front ends 162 a, 162 b of dividers 120 a, 120 b. According to an exemplary embodiment shown in FIGS. 13, 14, 23 and 24, tabs 180 a, 180 b attach to dividers 120 a, 120 b by sliding into channels 194 a, 194 b located on dividers 120 a, 120 b. Tabs 180 a, 180 b include two members 196 a, 196 b configured to fit within channels 194 a, 194 b positioned on each side of divider 120 a, 120 b. Tabs 180 a, 180 b are held in place by friction between members 196 a, 196 b and channels 194 a, 194 b. Members 196 a, 196 b include portions 197 a, 197 b that “snap” into place within channels 194 a, 194 b. Ridges and/or gripped surfaces may be included on the members and/or the channels to increase resistance between product and the members. According to an exemplary embodiment, the tab is made from clear injection molded material.
  • [0125]
    According to embodiments shown in FIGS. 13, 15, 24, and 33, articles 190 a, 190 b (shown as yogurt containers) may be stocked (e.g., loaded) in multiple layers (preferably three levels of yogurt containers) on merchandising system 110 a, 110 b. The merchandising system is preferably configured to be placed on an inclined shelf arranged so that the product advances toward the front of the system by the force of gravity. The systems shown in FIGS. 13-36 may be placed on shelves such as those shown in FIGS. 8A, 8B and 8C. According to an exemplary embodiment, the shelf may be at an angle in the range of about 2 to 10 degrees with respect to the horizontal axis. According to a preferred embodiment, the shelf is at an angle of about 6 to 8 degrees with respect to the horizontal axis. Articles may be stocked (e.g., loaded) in multiple layers from either the front or rear of the merchandising system. According to a preferred embodiment shown in FIGS. 13, 15, 24, and 33, articles are stocked onto the merchandising system from rear end 116 a, 116 b. Tracks 182 a, 182 b are intended to provide support if needed to prevent articles from tipping over or falling out of the system when sliding along connector 140 a, 140 b. Under normal use, tracks 182 a, 182 b are not intended to contact the articles (e.g., yogurt containers) which are supported by either connector 140 a, 140 b (e.g., the bottom yogurt container) or a yogurt container underneath a particular yogurt container. According to an alternative embodiment, a pusher assembly may be utilized to help prevent articles from sliding at an undesirable rate along the system. According to other alternative embodiments, the tracks may contact the articles under normal or other use.
  • [0126]
    According to various exemplary embodiments, the assemblies and components of the merchandising system may be constructed from a variety of suitable materials, including metals, metal alloys, aluminum, polymers, composites, plastics (including high impact plastics and injection molded plastic), ceramics, etc.
  • [0127]
    According to various exemplary embodiments, the frame system may be constructed from metal, metal alloys, aluminum, plastics, polymers, composites, etc. According to other alternative embodiments, any other suitable material may be used to construct the frame system. According to an exemplary embodiment, the frame system may be chrome plated to improve aesthetic appeal.
  • [0128]
    According to various exemplary embodiments, the shelf may be constructed from metal, metal alloys, aluminum, plastics, polymers, composites, etc. According to a preferred embodiment, the shelf is constructed from metal or metal alloys. According to alternative embodiments, any other suitable material may be used to construct the shelf. According to an exemplary embodiment, the shelf is approximately 10 to 30 inches wide and approximately 30 to 60 inches long. According to a preferred embodiment, the shelf is about 20 inches wide by about 48 inches long. According to an exemplary embodiment, the shelf is about 0.25 inch to about 1 inch thick. According to a preferred embodiment, the shelf is about 0.625 inch thick.
  • [0129]
    According to an exemplary embodiment, the shelves may be spaced at various distances from one another. For example, the shelves may be spaced about 6 inches to about 9 inches apart. According to a preferred embodiment, the shelves are spaced about 7 to 8 inches apart, thereby leaving about 4 to 7 inches of stocking space.
  • [0130]
    The divider and pusher assembly may generally be made from injection molded plastic or from a variety of other plastics, polymers, composites, and processes (e.g., extrusion, cast, etc.). For example, the divider may be constructed from high-impact plastics, polymers, other plastics, and the like. The various components of the divider may be formed separately and then connected using a sonic welding process (or other suitable attachment technique). Using plastic offers several advantages including that the pieces are moldable in a variety of different colors, surface finishes, textures, etc. According to an exemplary embodiment, some or all of the components may be clear (e.g., opaque) to show products within the system. Other suitable materials (including metal, metal alloys, aluminum, etc.) may be used according to alternative embodiments. According to various exemplary embodiments, each component of the divider and pusher assembly may be sized to operate with various sized yogurt containers. For example, the pusher assembly may include a member that is approximately 48 inches long and a plate that is approximately 1 to 5 inches wide. According to various other embodiments, the member and plate may be any suitable size to operate with various sized articles.
  • [0131]
    According to one particularly preferred embodiment, the connectors are constructed from extruded plastic. According to one alternative embodiment, the connectors may be constructed from injection molded plastic. A variety of plastics may be used in constructing or assembling the connectors. For example, the connectors may be constructed or assembled from high-impact plastics, polymers, high-impact plastic. Using plastic offers several advantages including that the pieces may be constructed in a variety of different colors, surface finished, textures, etc. According to various alternative embodiments, a variety of other known or suitable materials may be used including metals, alloys, composites, etc.
  • [0132]
    According to one exemplary embodiment, the divider is constructed by co-extruding a material of a first rigidity (or flexibility) with a material of a second rigidity (or flexibility). According to an exemplary embodiment, the divider is a dual durometer extrusion having portions constructed from a rigid PVC, and portions constructed from a flexible, low tack, or “gummy” PVC. The friction material (such as a “gummy” material) assists the merchandising system to stay in place during use by increasing the friction between the divider and the support surface such as a shelf. Additionally, the friction portion helps to increase the engagement between the connector and the divider, thereby helping to prevent motion of the divider in a direction along the length of the divider. According to various exemplary embodiments, non-skid material, other friction material, non-skid feet (e.g., of rubber or another elastomeric material or the like) may be provided on the bottom of the merchandising system (including dividers and connectors).
  • [0133]
    According to the exemplary embodiment, the connector may also be constructed by co-extruding a material of a first rigidity (or flexibility) with a material of a second rigidity (or flexibility). According to an exemplary embodiment, the connector is a dual durometer extrusion having a portion (i.e., an upper portion) constructed from a rigid polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and another portion (i.e., a lower portion) constructed from a flexible, low tack, or “gummy” PVC. The portion constructed from a “gummy” material assists the merchandising system to stay in place during use by slightly adhering to a support surface such as a shelf. Similar extrusion processes may be used in the construction and assembly of other types of connectors.
  • [0134]
    As shown in the FIGS., the merchandising system is intended to provide dividers that may be selectively adjusted. Products or merchandise may be placed between adjacent dividers. The merchandising system may allow the dividers to be reconfigured and resized for different sized divisions without the need to reconfigure or resize adjacent dividers. A “facing” or cell may be resized or have its width changed without needing to resize adjacent areas (e.g., where one facing or cell is resized for a different product size, but adjacent facings do not need to be resized).
  • [0135]
    The merchandising system may be placed on top of shelves or shelving units. The merchandising system may simply rest on the top of a surface, or may be supported by feet on a shelf. According to exemplary embodiments, low-bond adhesives, soft-tack adhesives, plastics, polymers, elastomers, rubber (including craton rubber), other friction enhancing materials, etc. may be applied to restrict the motion of the merchandising system.
  • [0136]
    The various configurations of dividers and connectors shown in the FIGS. allow a user to pick and choose dividers for use in constructing merchandising systems. The different configurations allow for the same basic elements to be used in constructing a wide variety and sizes of merchandising system configurations. For example, one merchandising system configuration may require two end dividers, and three center dividers. Another merchandising system configuration may require two end dividers, five center dividers, etc. Any wide variety and configurations of dividers may be used to construct a merchandising system to meet various requirements such as space constraints, product sizes, etc.
  • [0137]
    The merchandising system may be constructed or assembled by pressing, snapping, engaging, placing, etc. the engaging portions of the dividers onto or with connectors. The connectors provide for a relatively simple connection between two divider panels. The dividers shown in the FIGS. may be readily adjusted. The dividers include legs (which may be interfaces, projections, extensions, etc.) that attach or couple to interfaces (such as notches, teeth, etc. on the connector). The dividers may be disconnected from an existing interface on the connector, and then attached or coupled with another interface at a different spacing. The merchandising system advantageously allows for selected dividers to be adjusted, resized, refaced and/or reconfigured without requiring the adjustment of adjacent dividers or divider sets.
  • [0138]
    In order for the merchandising system to be configured to display or fit specific products, manufacturers, set of products, etc., the merchandising system may be reconfigured to allow sizing for variously sized products, etc. As shown in FIG. 11, a first sizing or spacing (e.g., width) of dividers (indicated by “W-1”) may be used for a first product, while a second sizing or spacing (e.g., width) of dividers (indicated by “W-2”) may be used for a second product. According to one exemplary embodiment, connectors may be provided with a continuous, even distribution of interfaces (which may be notches, teeth, etc.). The merchandising system is configured to accommodate a wide variety of product sizes. According to one alternative embodiment, a connector may be provided with a limited number of interfaces set apart at predefined distances. For example, a connector (not shown) may be provided with three interfaces providing for three adjustment positions (e.g., for brand specific merchandising systems having a predefined number of adjustment positions intended to correlate to a predefined number of products or product sets). According to alternative embodiments, any configuration, arrangement, sizing or distribution of interfaces may be provided.
  • [0139]
    Referring now to FIG. 37, an alternative embodiment of a merchandising system 200 according to the present disclosure includes many of the same elements described with regard to merchandising system 10, described above. An alternative embodiment product shelf 254 is included for the storage and display of product. FIG. 38 illustrates a portion of a product shelf 254. Positioned on a shelf support 253, a plurality of dividers 220 and 320 cooperate with floors 240 to define a plurality product storage and display spaces 222. Floors 240 may also serve as connectors extending between adjacent dividers 220 and 320. As noted above, floor 240 is sloped downward from adjacent a rear shelf structure 252 toward a forward lip 248 of shelf support 253 to urge product containers 290 within the spaces 222 to slide forward as the forwardmost product containers are removed.
  • [0140]
    At a front end 296 of each divider 220 and 320, a pair of product retaining members are mounted. For dividers which define an outer wall without an adjacent space 222, single sided product retaining members 380 may be mounted and for the interior dividers, double sided product retaining members 280 may be mounted. These product retaining members may cooperate with product stop 86 of a display portion 70 adjacent lip 248 to prevent product containers 290 from sliding out of spaces 22 and presenting the forwardmost containers to customers. This arrangement can also be seen in FIG. 39.
  • [0141]
    FIGS. 40 and 41 show the arrangement of dividers 220 and 320 with respect to retaining members 280 and 380. As will be described more fully below, each product retaining member 280 and 380 includes arms extending at least partially across the width of one of the spaces 222. These arms are resilient and deformable so that when a container 290 is pulled forward from a space 222, the arms deflect outward, permitting the container to be removed. Once the container has passed through the arms, the arms spring back to block the next container 290 in line within space 22 as it slides forward. This product removal and retention operation has been described previously with regard to the tabs 80 and 180 and is generally the same with difference that will be discussed below.
  • [0142]
    Referring now to FIGS. 42 and 43, and also as described above, each product retaining member 280 and 380 mounts to front end 296 of dividers 220 and 320 by engaging a channel 294. A rear portion 302 of each product retaining member defines a slot for engaging the channels 294 and securing the members to the front of each space 222. A pair of channels 294 are defined opposite one another on front end 296 and each channel 294 may include a groove 292 to engage a catch or other retaining feature of rear portions 302.
  • [0143]
    Referring now to FIGS. 44 to 47, product retaining member 280 includes a pair of arms 304 which curve away from one another. Each arm has an inner surface define a product engaging portion 306 and include a reversed curve portion 308 at an end opposite rear portion 302. Along product engaging portion 306, product retaining member 280 may include gripped surfaces such as surface 98, shown above in FIG. 7A, or some other friction enhancing surface that will aid the retention of product within space 222 until removal is desired. Reversed curve portion 308 is provided to aid in the replenishment or restocking of product into spaces 222. Having curved surface 308 at a forward end arms 304 permits a restocker to merely push the product into space 222 without having to separately displace the arms. Because of the intended purpose of reverse curve portion 308, it is desirable that the gripped surface or surface treatment, if any, not be extended from product engaging portion 306 to portion 308.
  • [0144]
    On an opposite or outer surface 310 of arm 304 of product retaining member 280 may be a plurality of reinforcing shapes or ridges 312. Extending between the side 310 and adjacent rear portion 302 may be a reinforcing gusset 314. Ridges 312 and gusset 314 cooperate to provide a desired level of stiffness and structural integrity to ensure that product held within spaces 222 is not accidentally released. Since the shelf assembly is tilted forward, the product within space 22 may be exerting force on arms 304. At the same time, it is desirable to not require excessive force to remove product from space 222 when a customer wants to access or purchase the product. It is also desirable to not require a large insertion force during restocking.
  • [0145]
    Different shapes of product may exert eccentric forces on the arms and tend to twist them from the generally vertical orientation shown herein. Gusset 314 may be sized and configured to provide the desired resistance to movement into and out of space 222. The further along side 310 that gusset 314 extends, the greater support is provided to resist eccentric forces. The thickness of gusset 314 may also be tailored to provide a desired level of eccentric force resistance. Ridges 312 also provide resistance against deflection during removal and insertion of product from space 222. Selection of the number of ridges 312 included along side 310 and the size of these ridges, as well as the length and thickness of gusset 314, allows the degree of resistance to deflection or twisting of product retaining member 280 to be adapted to the desired installation requirements.
  • [0146]
    Rear portion 302 includes a pair of opposing members 316 defining a slot 318 which is sized to receive and engage channel 294 of front end 296 of dividers 220 and 320. At an outer end of each member 316 is a snap portion or catch 320. Catch 320 is sized and positioned to engage groove 292 within channel 294. Engagement of catches 320 and grooves 292 removably secures product retaining member 280 to divider 220 or 320. Product retaining member 280 may be changed to a differently configured retaining member as the nature, size and weight of the product to be stored and displayed within space 222 is changed.
  • [0147]
    Referring now to FIGS. 48 and 49, single sided product retaining member 380 includes many of the same elements as retaining member 280, above. A gusset 322 is provided to provide support to the single arm 304. The opposing members 316 defining slot 318 are configured with one member longer than the other, so that the catches are offset from each other. For single sided member 380, it may be desirable to have the longer of the two members 316 extend on the side opposite from arm 304. Placing the longer member 316 opposite arm 304 may provide better resistance to movement or deformation of product retaining member 380.
  • [0148]
    Referring now to FIGS. 50 to 53, an alternative embodiment of a double armed product retaining member 330 includes a rear portion 302 configured generally the same as the rear portion of product retaining members 280 and 380, described above. Product retaining member 330 includes a pair of resilient deformable or deflectable arms 334, each including a product engaging portion 336 and include a reversed curve portion 338. These retaining and reversed curved portions may be configured similarly to the corresponding portions of members 280 and 380 and serve the same general function as those portions. Arms 334 may also include one or a plurality of ridges 312 for support at different locations along an inner surface 340. A nominal gusset 344 may also be included between arms 334 and rear portion 302, or alternatively, no gusset may be included except as needed or desired for molding or production efficiencies. Arms 334 may include an added thickness 332 along inner surface 340 to provide the resistance to deflection and/or twisting that might otherwise be provided by a larger gusset.
  • [0149]
    FIGS. 54 and 55 illustrate a single armed embodiment 350 of a product retaining member, with a single arm 334 with added thickness 332 along an inner surface 340. As with the double armed product retaining member 330, the added thickness along the inner wall provides a bean or girder-like effect that may aid in the ability of the arm to resist both deflection and twisting caused by product within space 222 exerting force of the members. As with single armed retaining member 380, one of the members 316 extends beyond the other member 316 of rear portion 302. This longer member 316 is preferably positioned opposite arm 334.
  • [0150]
    The thickness of arms 334 and the size of gussets 314 and 322, as well as the number of ridges 312 may be varied to ensure that the deflection characteristics of arms 304 and 334 are appropriate for the products to be held in spaces 222. The material qualities or characteristics of the materials chosen for the product retaining members, as well as the physical dimensions of the members may also impact the number of ridges, the size of gussets and the thickness of arms that will be required to achieve the deflection characteristics desired of the product retaining members. The number of ridges, the size of the gussets, and the thickness of arms shown in the FIGS. is intended to be illustrative only and is not intended to indicate preferred dimensions.
  • [0151]
    It is also important to note that the construction and arrangement of the elements of the merchandising system as shown in the exemplary embodiments is illustrative only. Although only a few embodiments of the present inventions have been described in detail, those skilled in the art will readily appreciate that many modifications are possible (e.g., variations in sizes, dimensions, structures, shapes, tolerances, and proportions of the various elements, values of parameters, mounting arrangements, use of materials, colors, orientations, etc.) without materially departing from the novel teachings and advantages of the subject matter of the present inventions. For example, elements shown as integrally formed may be constructed of multiple parts or elements show as multiple parts may be integrally formed. For example, a connector or connector portion of any of the exemplary or alternative embodiments could be made as an integral piece with a divider. The operation of the connection between the divider and connector may be reversed or otherwise varied, the shape or size (e.g., length or width) of the dividers or other elements of the system (e.g., shelf divider or interface of the divider members) may be varied, the nature or number of discrete adjustment positions provided on the connectors may be varied (e.g., by variations in the number of engagement points or size of the engagement points or type of engagement).
  • [0152]
    It should be noted that the elements and/or assemblies of the system may be constructed from any of a wide variety of materials that provide sufficient strength or durability, including any of a wide variety of moldable or extrudable plastic materials (such as high-impact plastic) in any of a wide variety of colors, textures and combinations. It should also be noted that the merchandising system may be used in association with a shelf (e.g., of a shelving unit or the like) or any of a wide variety of other surfaces in any of a wide variety of other applications. Accordingly, all such modifications are intended to be included within the scope of the present inventions.
  • [0153]
    The merchandising system may be to display and merchandise a variety of products, including containers, packages, bags, boxes, tubes, etc. The products may be food products, foodstuffs, snacks, prepared food packages, etc. Alternatively, other products of a variety of sizes and weights may be displayed and merchandised, such as consumer products, parts, batteries, automotive batteries, tissue boxes, etc.
  • [0154]
    While the invention has been described with reference to preferred embodiments, it is to be understood that the invention is not intended to be limited to the specific embodiments set forth above. Thus, it is recognized that those skilled in the art will appreciate that certain substitutions, alterations, modifications, and omissions may be made without departing from the spirit or intent of the invention. Accordingly, the foregoing description is meant to be exemplary only, the invention is to be taken as including all reasonable equivalents to the subject matter of the invention, and should not limit the scope of the invention set forth in the following claims.

Claims (14)

  1. 1. A merchandising system comprising:
    a pair of dividers spaced apart from each other and a floor member extending between the dividers, the divider and the floor member cooperating to define a space for storing and displaying a plurality of product containers, wherein a first product container is positioned at a forward end of the space and the remaining product containers are positioned behind the first product container and extend toward a rear of the space;
    the floor member angled downward from the rear of the space toward the front of the space;
    a product retaining member mounted to a front end of each of the dividers, with each product retaining member including at least one arm extending at least partially across a width of the space, the arms from the two retaining members cooperating to releasably retain the first product container within the space adjacent the forward end;
    each arm of the product retaining members including an inner surface with a product retaining portion which engages the first product container in the space and a recurved portion configured to deflect the arm outward when a product container is pressed against the recurved portion, the deflection of the arms of the two retaining members permitting the placement of the product container within the space through the forward end;
    each arm including an integral reinforcement member extending from the rear portion along an outer surface of the arm opposite the inner surface, the integral reinforcement member providing resistance against outward deflection of the arm.
  2. 2. The system of claim 1, further comprising each arm including a plurality of transversely extending ridges spaced apart along the outer surface of the arm.
  3. 3. The system of claim 2, wherein the integral reinforcement member is a gusset extending partially along the length of the outer surface opposite the product retaining portion.
  4. 4. The system of claim 3, wherein a first ridge is formed in the outer surface of the arm at a point forward of the gusset.
  5. 5. The system of claim 1, further comprising a third divider positioned adjacent one of the two dividers and cooperating with the adjacent divider to define a second space similarly configured to the space;
    the product retaining member mounted to the forward end of the divider common to both spaces including a second arm extending forward from the rear portion, with the second arm similarly configured to the arm and extending at least partially across the second space, with the gusset extending forward from the rear portion along an outer surface of each of the arms.
  6. 6. The system of claim 5, further comprising each arm including a plurality of transversely extending ridges spaced apart along the outer surface of the arm.
  7. 7. A merchandising system comprising:
    a pair of dividers spaced apart from each other and a floor member extending between the dividers, the divider and the floor member cooperating to define a space for storing and displaying a plurality of product containers, wherein a first product container is positioned at a forward end of the space and the remaining product containers are positioned behind the first product container and extend toward a rear of the space;
    the floor member angled downward from the rear of the space toward the front of the space;
    a product retaining member mounted to a front end of each of the dividers, with each product retaining member including at least one arm extending at least partially across a width of the space, the arms from the two retaining members cooperating to releasably retain the first product container within the space adjacent the forward end;
    each arm of the product retaining members including an inner surface with a product retaining portion which engages the first product container in the space and a recurved portion configured to deflect the arm outward when a product container is pressed against the recurved portion, the deflection of the arms of the two retaining members permitting the placement of the product container within the space through the forward end;
    each arm including a plurality of transversely extending ridges spaced apart along the outer surface of the arm.
  8. 8. The system of claim 7, further comprising a third divider positioned adjacent one of the two dividers and cooperating with the adjacent divider to define a second space similarly configured to the space;
    the product retaining member mounted to the forward end of the divider common to both spaces including a second arm extending forward from the rear portion, with the second arm similarly configured to the arm and extending at least partially across the second space.
  9. 10. The system of claim 9, further comprising a gusset extending from the rear portion forwardly along an outer surface of each of the arms of the product retaining member common to both spaces and extending between the arms.
  10. 11. A product retaining member comprising:
    a rear portion, first and second arms extending forward from the rear portion, and first and second members extending rearward from the rear portion;
    the rearward extending members defining a slot for engaging a forward edge of a divider of a product merchandising system, the members each including a tab extending into the slot to engage the divider;
    each arm including first curved portion extending away from the rear portion and curving away from the other arm and a second curved portion forward of the first curved portion, the second curved portion curving back towards the other arm, where the first curved portion defines a product retaining portion and the second curved portion defines a recurved portion;
    each arm further including a surface opposite the product retaining portion, with an integral reinforcement extending forward from the rear portion along this surface and a plurality of transverse ridges formed across this surface
    the arms and the integral reinforcement made of a resilient deformable material permitting deflection of one arm toward the other arm.
  11. 12. The product retaining member of claim 11, further comprising a friction enhancing treatment on the product retaining portion of the arms that provides increased resistance to movement of objects in contact with the product retaining portion.
  12. 13. The product retaining member of claim 11, wherein the integral reinforcement is a gusset extending forward from the rear portion along the surface of each arm opposite the product retaining portion and extending between the two arms.
  13. 14. The product retaining member of claim 11, wherein the members defining the slot extend different distances from the rear portion and the opposing tabs are off set from each other.
  14. 15. A product retaining member comprising:
    a rear portion, a first arm extending forward from the rear portion, and first and second members extending rearward from the rear portion;
    the arm including a first curved portion extending away from the rear portion and a second curved portion forward of the first curved portion, where the first curved portion defines a product retaining portion and the second curved portion defines an oppositely curved portion;
    the arm further including a surface opposite the product retaining portion, with an integral reinforcement extending forward from the rear portion along this surface and a plurality of transverse ridges formed across this surface, the arm and the integral reinforcement made of a resilient deformable material permitting deflection of the arm away from the product retaining portion;
    the rearward extending members defining a slot for engaging a forward edge of a divider of a product merchandising system, with one of the members positioned opposite from the product retaining portion of the arm and extending further from the rear portion than the other member, each member including a tab extending into the slot to engage the divider and the tabs are offset form each other.
US11738559 2001-04-26 2007-04-23 Merchandising and product display system Abandoned US20080011696A1 (en)

Priority Applications (11)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US28689201 true 2001-04-26 2001-04-26
US31389401 true 2001-08-21 2001-08-21
US32965601 true 2001-10-15 2001-10-15
US33592401 true 2001-10-31 2001-10-31
US10132662 US7028852B2 (en) 2001-04-26 2002-04-25 Merchandising system
US10272527 US6886699B2 (en) 2001-10-15 2002-10-15 Merchandising system
US48967603 true 2003-07-23 2003-07-23
PCT/US2004/023791 WO2005009178A3 (en) 2003-07-23 2004-07-23 Merchandising system
US10996170 US7124898B2 (en) 2001-04-26 2004-11-23 Merchandising system
US11051040 US20050189310A1 (en) 2001-04-26 2005-02-04 Merchandising system
US11738559 US20080011696A1 (en) 2001-04-26 2007-04-23 Merchandising and product display system

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US11738559 US20080011696A1 (en) 2001-04-26 2007-04-23 Merchandising and product display system

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
US20080011696A1 true true US20080011696A1 (en) 2008-01-17

Family

ID=36954443

Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
US11738559 Abandoned US20080011696A1 (en) 2001-04-26 2007-04-23 Merchandising and product display system

Country Status (1)

Country Link
US (1) US20080011696A1 (en)

Cited By (27)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US8312999B2 (en) 2005-09-12 2012-11-20 Rtc Industries, Inc. Product management display system with trackless pusher mechanism
US8322544B2 (en) 2005-09-12 2012-12-04 Rtc Industries, Inc. Product management display system with trackless pusher mechanism
US8453850B2 (en) 2005-09-12 2013-06-04 Rtc Industries, Inc. Product management display system with trackless pusher mechanism
US8469205B1 (en) 2005-09-12 2013-06-25 Rtc Industries, Inc. Product management display system with trackless pusher mechanism
US20140034590A1 (en) * 2012-08-03 2014-02-06 Fasteners For Retail, Inc. Sliding and pivoting retainer
EP2599407A3 (en) * 2011-12-01 2014-04-02 Mezzi Alternativi A cabinet for tobacconists' and similar retail shops.
US8739984B2 (en) 2005-09-12 2014-06-03 Rtc Industries, Inc. Product management display system with trackless pusher mechanism
US20140263112A1 (en) * 2013-03-15 2014-09-18 Fasteners For Retail, Inc. Product merchandiser
US20140299559A1 (en) * 2013-04-03 2014-10-09 Fasteners For Retail, Inc. Anti-tip guide for product merchandiser
US8863963B2 (en) 2005-09-12 2014-10-21 Rtc Industries, Inc. Product management display system with trackless pusher mechanism
US8967394B2 (en) 2005-09-12 2015-03-03 Rtc Industries, Inc. Product management display system with trackless pusher mechanism
US8978904B2 (en) 2005-09-12 2015-03-17 Rtc Industries, Inc. Product management display system with trackless pusher mechanism
US9060624B2 (en) 2005-09-12 2015-06-23 Rtc Industries, Inc. Product management display system with rail mounting clip
US9138075B2 (en) 2005-09-12 2015-09-22 Rtc Industries, Inc. Product management display system
US9173504B2 (en) 2005-09-12 2015-11-03 Rtc Industries, Inc. Product management display system
US9232864B2 (en) 2005-09-12 2016-01-12 RTC Industries, Incorporated Product management display system with trackless pusher mechanism
US9259102B2 (en) 2005-09-12 2016-02-16 RTC Industries, Incorporated Product management display system with trackless pusher mechanism
US9265362B2 (en) 2005-09-12 2016-02-23 RTC Industries, Incorporated Product management display system
US9265358B2 (en) 2005-09-12 2016-02-23 RTC Industries, Incorporated Product management display system
US20160058204A1 (en) * 2014-08-26 2016-03-03 Menasha Corporation Can Dispenser
US20160166084A1 (en) * 2013-12-02 2016-06-16 Dci Marketing, Inc. Basket product display and related methods
US20160262554A1 (en) * 2015-03-11 2016-09-15 Mark VITOLLO Can Dispenser And Merchandiser
US9486088B2 (en) 2005-09-12 2016-11-08 Rtc Industries, Inc. Product management display system
US9750354B2 (en) 2005-09-12 2017-09-05 Rtc Industries, Inc. Product management display system
USD801734S1 (en) 2014-12-01 2017-11-07 Retail Space Solutions Llc Shelf management parts
USD810477S1 (en) 2014-05-13 2018-02-20 Reatil Space Solutions LLC Basket display parts
US9930973B2 (en) 2016-08-01 2018-04-03 Rtc Industries, Inc. Product management display system with trackless pusher mechanism

Citations (97)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US6409028B1 (en) *
US870993A (en) * 1907-04-04 1907-11-12 Fred L Richardson Shoe-protector for shoe-racks.
US903368A (en) * 1908-06-18 1908-11-10 Charles Elmer Flanders Index-cabinet.
US1030317A (en) * 1911-10-26 1912-06-25 Carlisle H Middauge Separating-case.
US1117255A (en) * 1913-12-22 1914-11-17 Ernest C Schmidt Time-table rack.
US1240705A (en) * 1917-02-23 1917-09-18 Frank P Grode Cue-holder.
US1481949A (en) * 1922-01-10 1924-01-29 Andreck Adam Cue holder
US1750575A (en) * 1929-08-02 1930-03-11 Warner I Cubberley Sectional desk accessory
US1895656A (en) * 1932-02-03 1933-01-31 Gadke William Clip for attaching electric lights to christmas trees
US2079754A (en) * 1935-07-17 1937-05-11 William V Waxgiser Article projection apparatus for shelves
US2110299A (en) * 1936-11-23 1938-03-08 Hinkle Cecil Edward Bottle rack
US2116386A (en) * 1936-03-03 1938-05-03 Elisha S Copeland Rack clip
US3343684A (en) * 1965-10-21 1967-09-26 Vincent Q Galier Shuffleboard cue hanger
US3907239A (en) * 1974-01-21 1975-09-23 C G Manufacturing Co Bracket for holding transducer
US4010517A (en) * 1974-09-12 1977-03-08 Kapstad Odd B Sheet support apparatus
US4121798A (en) * 1977-06-16 1978-10-24 Schumacher Donavon J Utensil handle holder
US4147257A (en) * 1976-09-08 1979-04-03 Herbert Zippel Gmbh & Co. Device for joining consolidated lamellar material
US4640029A (en) * 1983-05-05 1987-02-03 Dci Marketing Mobius strip and display utilizing the same
US4830322A (en) * 1988-01-04 1989-05-16 Gary Esther W Chalkboard chart holder
US5114021A (en) * 1989-06-09 1992-05-19 Imi Cornelius Inc. Self feeding display peg
US5222608A (en) * 1992-06-16 1993-06-29 Santa Cruz Industries Merchandise display apparatus
US5542636A (en) * 1994-11-23 1996-08-06 Mann; John P. Clips for supporting miniature Christmas lights at any of a plurality of locations
US5564166A (en) * 1995-08-02 1996-10-15 Roy Manufacturing Co., Inc. Badge clip assembly including a spring-biased clip member
US5640742A (en) * 1995-12-27 1997-06-24 Temtec, Inc. Spring badge clip
US5645176A (en) * 1996-08-08 1997-07-08 Display Technologies, Inc. Display rack with channel front member
US5711430A (en) * 1992-02-17 1998-01-27 Grabtrak Pty Ltd Hanging rail assembly
US5720398A (en) * 1996-09-04 1998-02-24 Fasteners For Retail, Inc. Power wing clip
US5772166A (en) * 1994-04-13 1998-06-30 Adams Mfg. Corp. Mounting clip
US5806669A (en) * 1996-10-16 1998-09-15 Kim; Paul Razor support structures for containers
US5901859A (en) * 1997-09-03 1999-05-11 Sally G. Bloomberg Card display unit and method
US5985413A (en) * 1997-07-31 1999-11-16 Dci Marketing, Inc. Color display
US5992653A (en) * 1997-12-18 1999-11-30 J & J Snack Foods Corp. Display and dispensing pack
US5992652A (en) * 1997-07-30 1999-11-30 Newell Operating Company Refill indicator for product display and dispensing system
US6041720A (en) * 1997-11-13 2000-03-28 Rtc Industries, Inc. Product management display system
US6082558A (en) * 1997-08-28 2000-07-04 L&P Property Management Company Shelf assembly with pusher having memory characteristic and method of use
US6105791A (en) * 1999-04-26 2000-08-22 Display Technologies, Llc Inventory counting article pusher display tray system
US6129218A (en) * 1998-05-11 2000-10-10 Target Brands, Inc. Merchandise display system
US6142317A (en) * 1997-11-12 2000-11-07 Merl; Milton J. Gravity feed shelving system with track and pusher
US6155437A (en) * 1997-07-09 2000-12-05 Societe Mbcg Display device for small containers and containers thus displayed
US6168032B1 (en) * 1998-07-02 2001-01-02 Milton J. Merl Shelf construction
US6193079B1 (en) * 1999-04-29 2001-02-27 Dci Marketing, Inc. Product display and support
US6210017B1 (en) * 1999-05-28 2001-04-03 Minolta Co., Ltd. Self-emission road device for straight or curved road surface
US6216987B1 (en) * 1998-02-16 2001-04-17 Nifco Inc. Rod holder for rod members with various shapes
US6227385B1 (en) * 1999-12-03 2001-05-08 Dci Marketing, Inc. Shelf tray system
US6273281B1 (en) * 2000-09-15 2001-08-14 Dci Marketing, Inc. Adjustable shelving system
US20010020606A1 (en) * 1997-10-10 2001-09-13 L&P Property Management Company Shelf assembly
US6290077B2 (en) * 1998-04-30 2001-09-18 Stein Industries, Inc. Display rack with interlocking dividers
US6311852B1 (en) * 1999-08-23 2001-11-06 Darko Company, Inc. Merchandising fixture and shelf divider system therefor
US6357606B1 (en) * 1999-02-02 2002-03-19 Hmg Worldwide In-Store Marketing, Inc. Modular self-adjusting merchandise display system
USD455519S1 (en) * 2001-02-20 2002-04-09 Dci Marketing, Inc. Smoking debris collection device
US6375015B1 (en) * 2000-07-27 2002-04-23 Chicago Show Shelving system and display unit therefor
US6382431B1 (en) * 2000-03-03 2002-05-07 Burke Display Systems, Inc. Shelf management system
US6394285B1 (en) * 2000-02-29 2002-05-28 Michelle Smith Arthurs Dishwasher accessory for securing and supporting stemware
US6401942B1 (en) * 2000-03-06 2002-06-11 Michael P. Eckert Transformable display and holding device
US20020084392A1 (en) * 1999-10-11 2002-07-04 Valarie Mongaras Support system for cubicles
US20020113187A1 (en) * 2001-02-20 2002-08-22 Decker Clayton O. Tissue box holder
US6454122B1 (en) * 1996-01-19 2002-09-24 Dci Marketing, Inc. Collection device for smoking debris
USD463728S1 (en) * 2001-05-22 2002-10-01 Dci Marketing, Inc. Mounting interface
US6464089B1 (en) * 2001-05-11 2002-10-15 Vulcan Spring & Manufacturing Company Adjustable spring-driven pusher device for a merchandise dispenser
USD464907S1 (en) * 2001-09-14 2002-10-29 Dci Marketing, Inc. Medallion
US6477744B1 (en) * 1999-01-25 2002-11-12 Gregory Henry Miles Visor clip
US20020170866A1 (en) * 2001-04-26 2002-11-21 Dci Marketing, Inc. Merchandising system
US6484891B2 (en) * 2000-03-24 2002-11-26 Burke Display Systems, Inc. Adjustable track system for modular display systems
US20020179553A1 (en) * 2000-12-08 2002-12-05 Squitieri Anthony C. Glide
US20030024892A1 (en) * 2001-07-31 2003-02-06 Ronald Macsenti Banner display device
US6523703B1 (en) * 2001-09-26 2003-02-25 Display Industries, Llc. Pusher mechanism for a merchandising display shelf
US20030057167A1 (en) * 2001-09-19 2003-03-27 Dci Marketing, Inc. Merchandising system
US20030061959A1 (en) * 2001-08-21 2003-04-03 Dci Marketing, Inc. Merchandising system
USD473076S1 (en) * 2002-05-22 2003-04-15 Dci Marketing, Inc. Merchandising system
US20030085187A1 (en) * 2001-10-15 2003-05-08 Dci Marketing, Inc. Merchandising system
USD474923S1 (en) * 2002-09-18 2003-05-27 Dci Marketing, Inc. Merchandising system
US6571498B1 (en) * 1998-09-16 2003-06-03 Issac Cyrluk Shelf-front assembly for labeling and retaining products
USD476170S1 (en) * 2002-05-22 2003-06-24 Dci Marketing, Inc. Merchandising system
US6585120B2 (en) * 1997-10-01 2003-07-01 Display Industries, Llc. Display shelf having an anti-rotation member
US20030160060A1 (en) * 2002-01-14 2003-08-28 Dci Marketing, Inc. Merchandising system
US6622874B1 (en) * 2001-11-13 2003-09-23 Terry Hawkinson Apparatus and method for holding and feeding product
US20030217980A1 (en) * 2002-03-13 2003-11-27 Johnson Allen E. Merchandising system
US6666533B1 (en) * 2002-03-26 2003-12-23 Roseanne Stavros Drawer organizer
US6691891B2 (en) * 2000-05-22 2004-02-17 Alexandre Maldonado Adjustable push forward dispensing mechanism
US6715621B2 (en) * 2002-08-01 2004-04-06 Paul Flum Ideas, Inc. Product merchandising display unit with pull through front wall members
US6719151B2 (en) * 2001-05-16 2004-04-13 James Garth Close System and method for product display, arrangement and rotation
US6722509B1 (en) * 2002-10-31 2004-04-20 Display Industries, Llc. Display track device with front panels and top stop members
US20040079715A1 (en) * 2002-09-06 2004-04-29 Dci Marketing, Inc. Merchandising system
US6804866B2 (en) * 2002-04-08 2004-10-19 Daniel L. Lemke Cannula clip and associated method of use
US20040222171A1 (en) * 2001-05-22 2004-11-11 Dci Marketing, Inc. Merchandising system
US6837472B1 (en) * 2002-02-13 2005-01-04 Michael J. Beutz Releasable bottle holder
US20050127014A1 (en) * 2001-04-26 2005-06-16 Dci Marketing, Inc. Merchandising system
US6962315B2 (en) * 2003-06-13 2005-11-08 Ching-Chang Lee Multi-purpose clamping device
USD520776S1 (en) * 2004-10-06 2006-05-16 Dci Marketing, Inc. Merchandising system
US7051406B1 (en) * 2003-01-15 2006-05-30 Russell Earl Morris Apparatus holder for hats
US20060138064A1 (en) * 2004-12-29 2006-06-29 Crudgington Cleveland B Jr Stemware Saver for dishwasher
US20080104802A1 (en) * 2006-02-23 2008-05-08 Vermillion Kenneth B Belt clip with breakaway safety feature
US20090032035A1 (en) * 2007-07-31 2009-02-05 Edward Brian Thorpe Clip
US7556231B2 (en) * 2004-04-27 2009-07-07 Stemgrip, LLC Dishwasher rack stemware holding apparatus
US20100058560A1 (en) * 2008-09-11 2010-03-11 Scott Hayleigh Jewelry clasp for hearing aid
US20100133212A1 (en) * 2008-12-01 2010-06-03 Saylor Lewis J Pool cue clamp
US7739820B2 (en) * 2007-05-31 2010-06-22 Gary Liebling Frank Book shelf display device

Patent Citations (101)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US6409028B1 (en) *
US6290077B1 (en) *
US870993A (en) * 1907-04-04 1907-11-12 Fred L Richardson Shoe-protector for shoe-racks.
US903368A (en) * 1908-06-18 1908-11-10 Charles Elmer Flanders Index-cabinet.
US1030317A (en) * 1911-10-26 1912-06-25 Carlisle H Middauge Separating-case.
US1117255A (en) * 1913-12-22 1914-11-17 Ernest C Schmidt Time-table rack.
US1240705A (en) * 1917-02-23 1917-09-18 Frank P Grode Cue-holder.
US1481949A (en) * 1922-01-10 1924-01-29 Andreck Adam Cue holder
US1750575A (en) * 1929-08-02 1930-03-11 Warner I Cubberley Sectional desk accessory
US1895656A (en) * 1932-02-03 1933-01-31 Gadke William Clip for attaching electric lights to christmas trees
US2079754A (en) * 1935-07-17 1937-05-11 William V Waxgiser Article projection apparatus for shelves
US2116386A (en) * 1936-03-03 1938-05-03 Elisha S Copeland Rack clip
US2110299A (en) * 1936-11-23 1938-03-08 Hinkle Cecil Edward Bottle rack
US3343684A (en) * 1965-10-21 1967-09-26 Vincent Q Galier Shuffleboard cue hanger
US3907239A (en) * 1974-01-21 1975-09-23 C G Manufacturing Co Bracket for holding transducer
US4010517A (en) * 1974-09-12 1977-03-08 Kapstad Odd B Sheet support apparatus
US4147257A (en) * 1976-09-08 1979-04-03 Herbert Zippel Gmbh & Co. Device for joining consolidated lamellar material
US4121798A (en) * 1977-06-16 1978-10-24 Schumacher Donavon J Utensil handle holder
US4640029A (en) * 1983-05-05 1987-02-03 Dci Marketing Mobius strip and display utilizing the same
US4830322A (en) * 1988-01-04 1989-05-16 Gary Esther W Chalkboard chart holder
US5114021A (en) * 1989-06-09 1992-05-19 Imi Cornelius Inc. Self feeding display peg
US5711430A (en) * 1992-02-17 1998-01-27 Grabtrak Pty Ltd Hanging rail assembly
US5222608A (en) * 1992-06-16 1993-06-29 Santa Cruz Industries Merchandise display apparatus
US5772166A (en) * 1994-04-13 1998-06-30 Adams Mfg. Corp. Mounting clip
US5542636A (en) * 1994-11-23 1996-08-06 Mann; John P. Clips for supporting miniature Christmas lights at any of a plurality of locations
US5564166A (en) * 1995-08-02 1996-10-15 Roy Manufacturing Co., Inc. Badge clip assembly including a spring-biased clip member
US5640742A (en) * 1995-12-27 1997-06-24 Temtec, Inc. Spring badge clip
US6454122B1 (en) * 1996-01-19 2002-09-24 Dci Marketing, Inc. Collection device for smoking debris
US5645176A (en) * 1996-08-08 1997-07-08 Display Technologies, Inc. Display rack with channel front member
US5720398A (en) * 1996-09-04 1998-02-24 Fasteners For Retail, Inc. Power wing clip
US5806669A (en) * 1996-10-16 1998-09-15 Kim; Paul Razor support structures for containers
US6155437A (en) * 1997-07-09 2000-12-05 Societe Mbcg Display device for small containers and containers thus displayed
US5992652A (en) * 1997-07-30 1999-11-30 Newell Operating Company Refill indicator for product display and dispensing system
US5985413A (en) * 1997-07-31 1999-11-16 Dci Marketing, Inc. Color display
US6082558A (en) * 1997-08-28 2000-07-04 L&P Property Management Company Shelf assembly with pusher having memory characteristic and method of use
US5901859A (en) * 1997-09-03 1999-05-11 Sally G. Bloomberg Card display unit and method
US6585120B2 (en) * 1997-10-01 2003-07-01 Display Industries, Llc. Display shelf having an anti-rotation member
US20010020606A1 (en) * 1997-10-10 2001-09-13 L&P Property Management Company Shelf assembly
US6142317A (en) * 1997-11-12 2000-11-07 Merl; Milton J. Gravity feed shelving system with track and pusher
US6041720A (en) * 1997-11-13 2000-03-28 Rtc Industries, Inc. Product management display system
US5992653A (en) * 1997-12-18 1999-11-30 J & J Snack Foods Corp. Display and dispensing pack
US6216987B1 (en) * 1998-02-16 2001-04-17 Nifco Inc. Rod holder for rod members with various shapes
US6290077B2 (en) * 1998-04-30 2001-09-18 Stein Industries, Inc. Display rack with interlocking dividers
US6129218A (en) * 1998-05-11 2000-10-10 Target Brands, Inc. Merchandise display system
US6168032B1 (en) * 1998-07-02 2001-01-02 Milton J. Merl Shelf construction
US6571498B1 (en) * 1998-09-16 2003-06-03 Issac Cyrluk Shelf-front assembly for labeling and retaining products
USD418971S (en) * 1998-10-20 2000-01-18 Discovery Marketing and Design, Ltd. Key ring holder
US6477744B1 (en) * 1999-01-25 2002-11-12 Gregory Henry Miles Visor clip
US6357606B1 (en) * 1999-02-02 2002-03-19 Hmg Worldwide In-Store Marketing, Inc. Modular self-adjusting merchandise display system
US6105791A (en) * 1999-04-26 2000-08-22 Display Technologies, Llc Inventory counting article pusher display tray system
US6193079B1 (en) * 1999-04-29 2001-02-27 Dci Marketing, Inc. Product display and support
US6210017B1 (en) * 1999-05-28 2001-04-03 Minolta Co., Ltd. Self-emission road device for straight or curved road surface
US6311852B1 (en) * 1999-08-23 2001-11-06 Darko Company, Inc. Merchandising fixture and shelf divider system therefor
US20020084392A1 (en) * 1999-10-11 2002-07-04 Valarie Mongaras Support system for cubicles
US6409028B2 (en) * 1999-12-03 2002-06-25 Dci Marketing, Inc. Shelf tray system
US6227385B1 (en) * 1999-12-03 2001-05-08 Dci Marketing, Inc. Shelf tray system
US6394285B1 (en) * 2000-02-29 2002-05-28 Michelle Smith Arthurs Dishwasher accessory for securing and supporting stemware
US6382431B1 (en) * 2000-03-03 2002-05-07 Burke Display Systems, Inc. Shelf management system
US6401942B1 (en) * 2000-03-06 2002-06-11 Michael P. Eckert Transformable display and holding device
US6484891B2 (en) * 2000-03-24 2002-11-26 Burke Display Systems, Inc. Adjustable track system for modular display systems
US6691891B2 (en) * 2000-05-22 2004-02-17 Alexandre Maldonado Adjustable push forward dispensing mechanism
US6375015B1 (en) * 2000-07-27 2002-04-23 Chicago Show Shelving system and display unit therefor
US6273281B1 (en) * 2000-09-15 2001-08-14 Dci Marketing, Inc. Adjustable shelving system
US20020179553A1 (en) * 2000-12-08 2002-12-05 Squitieri Anthony C. Glide
USD463880S1 (en) * 2001-02-20 2002-10-01 Dci Marketing, Inc. Receptacle
US20020113187A1 (en) * 2001-02-20 2002-08-22 Decker Clayton O. Tissue box holder
USD455519S1 (en) * 2001-02-20 2002-04-09 Dci Marketing, Inc. Smoking debris collection device
US20020170866A1 (en) * 2001-04-26 2002-11-21 Dci Marketing, Inc. Merchandising system
US20050127014A1 (en) * 2001-04-26 2005-06-16 Dci Marketing, Inc. Merchandising system
US6464089B1 (en) * 2001-05-11 2002-10-15 Vulcan Spring & Manufacturing Company Adjustable spring-driven pusher device for a merchandise dispenser
US6719151B2 (en) * 2001-05-16 2004-04-13 James Garth Close System and method for product display, arrangement and rotation
USD463728S1 (en) * 2001-05-22 2002-10-01 Dci Marketing, Inc. Mounting interface
US20040222171A1 (en) * 2001-05-22 2004-11-11 Dci Marketing, Inc. Merchandising system
US20030024892A1 (en) * 2001-07-31 2003-02-06 Ronald Macsenti Banner display device
US20030061959A1 (en) * 2001-08-21 2003-04-03 Dci Marketing, Inc. Merchandising system
USD464907S1 (en) * 2001-09-14 2002-10-29 Dci Marketing, Inc. Medallion
US20030057167A1 (en) * 2001-09-19 2003-03-27 Dci Marketing, Inc. Merchandising system
US6523703B1 (en) * 2001-09-26 2003-02-25 Display Industries, Llc. Pusher mechanism for a merchandising display shelf
US20030085187A1 (en) * 2001-10-15 2003-05-08 Dci Marketing, Inc. Merchandising system
US6622874B1 (en) * 2001-11-13 2003-09-23 Terry Hawkinson Apparatus and method for holding and feeding product
US20030160060A1 (en) * 2002-01-14 2003-08-28 Dci Marketing, Inc. Merchandising system
US6837472B1 (en) * 2002-02-13 2005-01-04 Michael J. Beutz Releasable bottle holder
US20030217980A1 (en) * 2002-03-13 2003-11-27 Johnson Allen E. Merchandising system
US6666533B1 (en) * 2002-03-26 2003-12-23 Roseanne Stavros Drawer organizer
US6804866B2 (en) * 2002-04-08 2004-10-19 Daniel L. Lemke Cannula clip and associated method of use
USD473076S1 (en) * 2002-05-22 2003-04-15 Dci Marketing, Inc. Merchandising system
USD476170S1 (en) * 2002-05-22 2003-06-24 Dci Marketing, Inc. Merchandising system
US6715621B2 (en) * 2002-08-01 2004-04-06 Paul Flum Ideas, Inc. Product merchandising display unit with pull through front wall members
US20040079715A1 (en) * 2002-09-06 2004-04-29 Dci Marketing, Inc. Merchandising system
USD474923S1 (en) * 2002-09-18 2003-05-27 Dci Marketing, Inc. Merchandising system
US6722509B1 (en) * 2002-10-31 2004-04-20 Display Industries, Llc. Display track device with front panels and top stop members
US7051406B1 (en) * 2003-01-15 2006-05-30 Russell Earl Morris Apparatus holder for hats
US6962315B2 (en) * 2003-06-13 2005-11-08 Ching-Chang Lee Multi-purpose clamping device
US7556231B2 (en) * 2004-04-27 2009-07-07 Stemgrip, LLC Dishwasher rack stemware holding apparatus
USD520776S1 (en) * 2004-10-06 2006-05-16 Dci Marketing, Inc. Merchandising system
US20060138064A1 (en) * 2004-12-29 2006-06-29 Crudgington Cleveland B Jr Stemware Saver for dishwasher
US20080104802A1 (en) * 2006-02-23 2008-05-08 Vermillion Kenneth B Belt clip with breakaway safety feature
US7739820B2 (en) * 2007-05-31 2010-06-22 Gary Liebling Frank Book shelf display device
US20090032035A1 (en) * 2007-07-31 2009-02-05 Edward Brian Thorpe Clip
US20100058560A1 (en) * 2008-09-11 2010-03-11 Scott Hayleigh Jewelry clasp for hearing aid
US20100133212A1 (en) * 2008-12-01 2010-06-03 Saylor Lewis J Pool cue clamp

Cited By (53)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US9504321B2 (en) 2005-09-12 2016-11-29 Rtc Industries, Inc. Product management display system with trackless pusher mechanism
US8322544B2 (en) 2005-09-12 2012-12-04 Rtc Industries, Inc. Product management display system with trackless pusher mechanism
US8453850B2 (en) 2005-09-12 2013-06-04 Rtc Industries, Inc. Product management display system with trackless pusher mechanism
US8469205B1 (en) 2005-09-12 2013-06-25 Rtc Industries, Inc. Product management display system with trackless pusher mechanism
US8550262B2 (en) 2005-09-12 2013-10-08 Rtc Industries, Inc. Product management display system with trackless pusher mechanism
US9918565B2 (en) 2005-09-12 2018-03-20 Rtc Industries, Inc. Product management display system
US8312999B2 (en) 2005-09-12 2012-11-20 Rtc Industries, Inc. Product management display system with trackless pusher mechanism
US8739984B2 (en) 2005-09-12 2014-06-03 Rtc Industries, Inc. Product management display system with trackless pusher mechanism
US9895007B2 (en) 2005-09-12 2018-02-20 Rtc Industries, Inc. Product management display system with trackless pusher mechanism
US9820585B2 (en) 2005-09-12 2017-11-21 Rtc Industries, Inc. Product management display system with trackless pusher mechanism
US8863963B2 (en) 2005-09-12 2014-10-21 Rtc Industries, Inc. Product management display system with trackless pusher mechanism
US8967394B2 (en) 2005-09-12 2015-03-03 Rtc Industries, Inc. Product management display system with trackless pusher mechanism
US9820584B2 (en) 2005-09-12 2017-11-21 Rtc Industries, Inc. Product management display system
US8978904B2 (en) 2005-09-12 2015-03-17 Rtc Industries, Inc. Product management display system with trackless pusher mechanism
US8998005B2 (en) 2005-09-12 2015-04-07 Rtc Industries, Inc. Product management display system with trackless pusher mechanism
US9060624B2 (en) 2005-09-12 2015-06-23 Rtc Industries, Inc. Product management display system with rail mounting clip
US9072394B2 (en) 2005-09-12 2015-07-07 Rtc Industries, Inc. Product management display system with trackless pusher mechanism
US9107515B2 (en) 2005-09-12 2015-08-18 Rtc Industries, Inc. Product management display system with trackless pusher mechanism
US9138075B2 (en) 2005-09-12 2015-09-22 Rtc Industries, Inc. Product management display system
US9149132B2 (en) 2005-09-12 2015-10-06 Rtc Industries, Inc. Product management display system with trackless pusher mechanism
US9173504B2 (en) 2005-09-12 2015-11-03 Rtc Industries, Inc. Product management display system
US9173505B2 (en) 2005-09-12 2015-11-03 Rtc Industries, Inc. Product management display system with trackless pusher mechanism
US9185999B2 (en) 2005-09-12 2015-11-17 Rtc Industries, Inc. Product management display system with trackless pusher mechanism
US9232864B2 (en) 2005-09-12 2016-01-12 RTC Industries, Incorporated Product management display system with trackless pusher mechanism
US9237816B2 (en) 2005-09-12 2016-01-19 RTC Industries, Incorporated Product management display system with trackless pusher mechanism
US9259102B2 (en) 2005-09-12 2016-02-16 RTC Industries, Incorporated Product management display system with trackless pusher mechanism
US9265362B2 (en) 2005-09-12 2016-02-23 RTC Industries, Incorporated Product management display system
US9265358B2 (en) 2005-09-12 2016-02-23 RTC Industries, Incorporated Product management display system
US9750354B2 (en) 2005-09-12 2017-09-05 Rtc Industries, Inc. Product management display system
US9730531B2 (en) 2005-09-12 2017-08-15 Rtc Industries, Inc. Product management display system with trackless pusher mechanism
US9402485B2 (en) 2005-09-12 2016-08-02 Rtc Industries, Inc. Product management display system with trackless pusher mechanism
US9713393B2 (en) 2005-09-12 2017-07-25 Rtc Industries, Inc. Product management display system
US9635957B2 (en) 2005-09-12 2017-05-02 Rtc Industries, Inc. Product management display system
US9532658B2 (en) 2005-09-12 2017-01-03 Rtc Industries, Inc. Product management display system
US9510677B2 (en) 2005-09-12 2016-12-06 Rtc Industries, Inc. Product management display system with rail mounting clip
US9486088B2 (en) 2005-09-12 2016-11-08 Rtc Industries, Inc. Product management display system
US9498057B2 (en) 2005-09-12 2016-11-22 Rtc Industries, Inc. Product management display system with trackless pusher mechanism
US8978903B2 (en) 2005-09-12 2015-03-17 Rtc Industries, Inc. Product management display system with trackless pusher mechanism
EP2599407A3 (en) * 2011-12-01 2014-04-02 Mezzi Alternativi A cabinet for tobacconists' and similar retail shops.
US20140034590A1 (en) * 2012-08-03 2014-02-06 Fasteners For Retail, Inc. Sliding and pivoting retainer
US9451836B2 (en) * 2012-08-03 2016-09-27 Fasteners For Retail, Inc. Sliding and pivoting retainer
US9433305B2 (en) * 2013-03-15 2016-09-06 Fasteners For Retail, Inc. Product merchandiser
US20140263112A1 (en) * 2013-03-15 2014-09-18 Fasteners For Retail, Inc. Product merchandiser
US9427095B2 (en) * 2013-04-03 2016-08-30 Fasteners For Retail, Inc. Anti-tip guide for product merchandiser
US20140299559A1 (en) * 2013-04-03 2014-10-09 Fasteners For Retail, Inc. Anti-tip guide for product merchandiser
US20160166084A1 (en) * 2013-12-02 2016-06-16 Dci Marketing, Inc. Basket product display and related methods
US9877599B2 (en) * 2013-12-02 2018-01-30 Retail Space Solutions Llc Basket product display and related methods
USD810477S1 (en) 2014-05-13 2018-02-20 Reatil Space Solutions LLC Basket display parts
US20160058204A1 (en) * 2014-08-26 2016-03-03 Menasha Corporation Can Dispenser
USD801734S1 (en) 2014-12-01 2017-11-07 Retail Space Solutions Llc Shelf management parts
US20160262554A1 (en) * 2015-03-11 2016-09-15 Mark VITOLLO Can Dispenser And Merchandiser
US9615674B2 (en) * 2015-03-11 2017-04-11 Trinity, Llc Can dispenser and merchandiser
US9930973B2 (en) 2016-08-01 2018-04-03 Rtc Industries, Inc. Product management display system with trackless pusher mechanism

Similar Documents

Publication Publication Date Title
US6991116B2 (en) Multi-chute gravity feed dispenser display
US5469976A (en) Shelf allocation and management system
US6679389B1 (en) Front piece for a merchandising display track device
US5605237A (en) Product advance mechanism
US5562217A (en) Pusher unit for dispensing merchandise
US8579123B2 (en) Merchandising system
US5878895A (en) Front loading package display system
US8113360B2 (en) Product shelf divider system and method
US5490600A (en) Cooler display rack with adjustable gravity feed shelves
US5203463A (en) Adjustable product display and dispensing unit
US4801025A (en) Adjustable shelf organizer units having frangible side and rear portions
US5749478A (en) In-line gravity feed shelf system
US6015051A (en) Shelf assembly with pusher having memory characteristic and method of use
US6962260B2 (en) Depth and width adjustable display track unit with removable partitions
US6129218A (en) Merchandise display system
US7201281B1 (en) Adjustable modular merchandise pusher system
US7823734B2 (en) Product management display system with trackless pusher mechanism
US6220461B1 (en) Slant shelf system
US5638963A (en) Product management apparatus and method
US20100089847A1 (en) Adjustable depth merchandising apparatus
US6964235B2 (en) Product management display system
US20070138114A1 (en) Shelf tray assembly
US5904256A (en) Offset locking device for display channels
US4925038A (en) Display fixture with modular display units
US20030061973A1 (en) Product display and fronting assembly

Legal Events

Date Code Title Description
AS Assignment

Owner name: DCI MARKETING, INC., WISCONSIN

Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:RICHTER, GARY M.;JOHNSON, ALLEN E.;BRYSON, M. SCOTT;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:019914/0650

Effective date: 20070928