US20150034576A1 - Shelf Facing Systems - Google Patents

Shelf Facing Systems Download PDF

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Publication number
US20150034576A1
US20150034576A1 US14/448,651 US201414448651A US2015034576A1 US 20150034576 A1 US20150034576 A1 US 20150034576A1 US 201414448651 A US201414448651 A US 201414448651A US 2015034576 A1 US2015034576 A1 US 2015034576A1
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United States
Prior art keywords
facing
products
frame
shelf
members
Prior art date
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Abandoned
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US14/448,651
Inventor
Sau Man Wong
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SAP Products China Ltd
Original Assignee
SAP PRODUCTS Ltd
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Filing date
Publication date
Priority to US201361860964P priority Critical
Application filed by SAP PRODUCTS Ltd filed Critical SAP PRODUCTS Ltd
Priority to US14/448,651 priority patent/US20150034576A1/en
Assigned to SAP PRODUCTS LTD reassignment SAP PRODUCTS LTD ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: WONG, SAU MAN
Publication of US20150034576A1 publication Critical patent/US20150034576A1/en
Abandoned legal-status Critical Current

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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47FSPECIAL FURNITURE, FITTINGS, OR ACCESSORIES FOR SHOPS, STOREHOUSES, BARS, RESTAURANTS OR THE LIKE; PAYING COUNTERS
    • A47F1/00Racks for dispensing merchandise; Containers for dispensing merchandise
    • A47F1/04Racks or containers with arrangements for dispensing articles, e.g. by means of gravity or springs
    • A47F1/12Racks or containers with arrangements for dispensing articles, e.g. by means of gravity or springs dispensing from the side of an approximately horizontal stack
    • A47F1/125Racks or containers with arrangements for dispensing articles, e.g. by means of gravity or springs dispensing from the side of an approximately horizontal stack with an article-pushing device
    • 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
    • A47F5/00Show stands, hangers, or shelves characterised by their constructional features
    • A47F5/0043Show shelves
    • A47F5/005Partitions therefore
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47BTABLES; DESKS; OFFICE FURNITURE; CABINETS; DRAWERS; GENERAL DETAILS OF FURNITURE
    • A47B57/00Cabinets, racks or shelf units, characterised by features for adjusting shelves or partitions
    • A47B57/58Cabinets, racks or shelf units, characterised by features for adjusting shelves or partitions with means for adjusting partitions horizontally
    • A47B57/583Cabinets, racks or shelf units, characterised by features for adjusting shelves or partitions with means for adjusting partitions horizontally by sliding
    • A47B57/585Cabinets, racks or shelf units, characterised by features for adjusting shelves or partitions with means for adjusting partitions horizontally by sliding with connection means slidable in a rail

Abstract

An improved shelf facing system allows for easy, quick, safe, and secure storage and alignment of products on a shelf or support surface, and facing of the products on shelving or display system. The facing system provides an apparatus and methods for alignment and storage of various sized products, and safely and efficiently facing products toward the front of a shelf or display unit. The shelf facing system is adjustable to accommodate different types or sizes of products, as well as different shelves or display units. The facing system may include adjustable members that enable varying the width and/or length of the system.

Description

  • This U.S. patent application claims the benefit of and priority to U.S. provisional patent application Ser No. 61/860,964 filed on Aug. 1, 2013, which is incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.
  • TECHNICAL FIELD
  • The present disclosure generally relates to systems for facing products stored on shelving, and more particularly, to shelf facing systems for cost-effectively enabling simple facing of products on shelving units.
  • BACKGROUND
  • There have been developed facing systems for increasing sales in a retail environment, and/or to facilitate maximizing shelf space and to bring a clean attractive appearance to retail shelves and displays. The main purpose of installing the facing systems on shelves is to attract customer's attention to a particular product and facilitate customer's shopping in a store. Generally, the more organized products are when displayed on shelves or displays, the more visually attractive the products are to customers, leading to more sales and revenue. Further, if products are organized and displayed in an orderly fashion on shelves, a manager of a store can check its inventory more quickly and efficiently.
  • When a product is picked up from a shelf by a customer, it is important that the next product moves to the front of the shelf so that the next customer can easily see and spot the product on the shelf. If the products are still located at the back of the shelf, it is difficult for customers to spot the product. This may result in significant loss of potential sales for a store. Also, this may cause customers to react negatively as the store is not orderly and organized.
  • To overcome the above problem, various types of facing systems have been developed. For example, self-facing systems have been developed with spring loaded self-facing pusher systems that automatically advance products to the front of the shelf or display for maximum visual exposure. Such self-facing systems automatically push products forward on shelves after products are selected by customers. However, even though the automatic facing system can be effective, the automatic facing system is structurally complicated and costs much more compared to hiring people to move the products to the front of shelves manually. Additionally, the autonomous facing system takes up significant space on shelves so that it cannot accommodate all depths and types of shelving of displays.
  • There is also a gravity type facing system which requires less complicated components than the autonomous facing systems. The gravity facing system utilizes gravity to attempt to cause products to move forward on shelves. Because the gravity facing system is inclined at a slope of several degrees, products on shelves will move forward after the front product has been removed by a customer. However, because of its nature of structure and mechanism, the gravity facing system does not provide a safe and proper way of pushing products toward the front of shelves. In many instances, the products do not move forward, and/or gaps can be created in which products can tip over. For example, glass containers, such as wine bottles or the like, may be prone to tipping over due to a high center of gravity and significant weight compared to an ordinary can or the like, or if at the front of a shelf, may be susceptible to falling from such gravity feed systems. As such gravity facing systems many time are constructed from a material with a sufficiently low friction coefficient to allow products to slide forward more easily, various products may be susceptible to falling out of the shelving.
  • SUMMARY
  • The present system solves the above and other problems and provides an improved facing system which can easily, quickly, safely, and securely facilitate storage and alignment of product, and facing of the products on shelving or display systems. The facing system provides an apparatus and methods for alignment and storage of various sized products, and safely and efficiently facing products toward the front of a shelf or display unit. The shelf facing system is adjustable to accommodate different types or sizes of products, as well as different shelves or display units. The facing system may include adjustable members that enable varying the width and/or length of the system.
  • According to an example, the system of the present invention may include a frame formed of first and second side members and front and rear members. The front and rear members may be length adjustable units which enable to adjust the width between the first and second side members. The first and second side members may be length adjustable to allow the length of each side member to be adjusted to accommodate different depth shelves or display units. The length adjustable units may use any suitable configuration to allow adjustability, and generally are formed of two sections adapted to adjustably couple to each other, with adjustment being simple and allowing the sections to be locked into a desired position.
  • According to another example, the facing system can be folded flat so that the entire system can be packaged, stored and transported without taking up significant space. In this example, each of the frame members are connected to each other by hinges or bearing.
  • According to another embodiment, the facing system provides the ability to label the front section with product information, and may include a header having a transparent face plate that is slidable into the frame section along with product, pricing or other information. The front frame section may also include a retaining system to prevent inadvertent movement of the facing system on the shelf or other display surface. The front frame section (and/or other sections) may include a retaining system such as a magnetic member, that interfaces with a corresponding magnetic member positioned on the shelf or other display member. Upon positioning of the facing assembly on the shelf or other display member, the magnetic members “lock” the facing system into place to prevent inadvertent movement thereof, while allowing the retention system to be disconnected, such as by lifting of the front frame section, to allow facing of products or other movement of the facing system. The system of the present invention may also have a side wall extensions for each side frame member, and/or an end wall extension for the back frame member, which may be used to extend the height of the sides and/or back of the system to retain products therein.
  • Accordingly, the facing system may be adjustable in width and/or length, to easily, quickly, and efficiently vary the configuration for various shelving or other display configurations, and to accommodate various shapes and sizes of products. The facing system may be collapsible to facilitate shipping and handling, and may include a retaining system to hold it in place until facing of products is desired, and may include side wall members to facilitate safely moving products to the front of the shelving or the like. Thus, the facing system safely stores and aligns products and efficiently moves products toward the front of shelves or the like as is desired for effective sale thereof.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an example facing system according to the invention.
  • FIG. 2 is a perspective view of another example of a facing system according to the invention.
  • FIG. 3 is a perspective view of an example facing system in a collapsed position for shipping, storage and handling.
  • FIG. 4 is an exploded perspective view of the facing system with side and back wall extensions according to an example.
  • FIG. 5 illustrates the example of FIG. 4 with product therein.
  • FIG. 6 illustrates another example of the facing system according to the invention with a retaining system associated therewith.
  • FIG. 7 illustrates another example of a facing system according to the invention.
  • FIG. 8 illustrates multiple facing systems for different sized shelves.
  • FIG. 9 illustrates another example of a facing system according to the invention.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • Referring to the drawings, FIG. 1 illustrates an example facing system 100 of the present invention, for use on a shelf or other display surface. The facing system includes an interior portion in which plurality of products can be positioned for alignment and face up positioning of the products on the support surface. In use, if the products at the front of the shelf have been removed, the facing system may be lifted at its front end and used to move the remaining containers from a retracted position on the support surface to the front of the support surface. The facing system is then pushed back to the retracted configuration leaving the products positioned at the front of the support surface. The facing system 100 is formed of a plurality of frame members including at least two side members 110 and at least one front member 120 and at least one back member 130. The side frame members 110 attach to the front frame member 120 and back frame member 130 in any suitable manner, and may be fixed into engagement, or assembled into the desired configuration. In this example, connecting members 140 are used to assemble the side frame members 110 to the front frame member 120 and back frame member 130. The facing system 100 is moved from a retracted position on the support surface and enables products to be moved toward the front of shelves or the like, simply by lifting the front frame member 120 and moving the system 100 outwardly along with any retracted product positioned therein.
  • As shown in FIG. 1, each side member 110 is located on opposing sides and extends vertically at approximately a 90 degree angle from a support surface. The front frame member 120 and rear frame member 130 also extend vertically at approximately a 90 degree angle from a surface. The height of the frame members 110, 120 and 130 may be any suitable height to facilitate retaining products therein, and to allow for the facing procedure, but as shown, may be low profile so as not to obscure or detract from proper visibility of products on the support surface.
  • As shown in FIG. 1, the two side members 110 and front and back members 120 and 130 are connected to form an integrated unit. Particularly, both ends of the side members 110 are connected to the ends of front member 120 and rear member 130. Any type of connecting techniques may be used to join the side members 110 to the front and rear frame members 120 and 130. Each side member 110 preferably functions as a divider between products in longitudinal rows, with multiple systems 100 adjacent one another to accommodate multiple rows of products on the shelf or other support surface. The systems 100 separate adjacent rows of products from one another, and allows any individual row of a product to be faced to the front of the shelf or support surface, while not interfering with any adjacent row of a product.
  • In the example of FIG. 1, the system 100 is width adjustable by adjustment systems 135. The system 135 includes first and second sections 131 and 132 that together make up the front frame member 120 and rear frame member 130, and are adjustably arranged with respect to one another. The section 131 includes a transverse opening 133 with a stepped configuration having an outer diameter which is less than the diameter of the inner portion of the opening 133. A button 134 is slidably received in the transverse opening 133 and is dimensioned to be substantially commensurate with the dimensions of transverse opening 133, excepting that the outer end of the button is projectable beyond opening 133. The transverse opening 133 comprises a stepped configuration as indicated, and the button 134 includes an inner portion which extends through the opening 133 and is connected to the section 132. The button 134 may be pushed to slide into the inner portion of transverse opening 133. The button 134 is spring biased outwardly and configured to only be partially received in the inner portion of opening 133. The button 134 may be pushed to slide into transverse opening 133 by depressing the projecting portion of button. The button 134 may be mounted to bias against the walls of the outer portion of transverse opening 133 to thereby act to releasably retain the button in position in one of the steps of the stepped configuration of opening 133. The locking mechanism provided by button 134 and transverse opening 133 may be released by merely depressing the button 134 so that it can then be slid to adjust the width of the frame members 120 and 130, and the relationship between the sections 131 and 132. Upon release of the button the sections 131 and 132 are locked into the relative adjusted position. The mechanism 135 may be similar to mechanisms that allow extension and retraction of blades in some utility knives. In this way, the system 100 is width adjustable to allow different sized products to be arranged therein, aligned and to allow the facing procedure therewith. Any other suitable adjustment mechanism 135 may be used and is contemplated in the invention. As also shown in FIG. 1, the frame members 110, 120 and 130 may also be formed to have reinforcing ribs 106 to increase the strength thereof, and if the frame members include an adjustment mechanism 135, the sections of the frame members may have the reinforcing ribs 106 engage in sliding relationship with one another to allow them to be slidably retained together.
  • In this example, the front frame member 120 may also include a header portion 123 forming a space for positioning product information or other graphic or informational material. For example, the header portion 123 may include a clear cover that is slid into engagement with the header portion 123 to provide the space for a sheet of paper or other material having product information, price or any other desired information or graphics.
  • FIG. 2 illustrates another example of the facing system 100 providing for adjusting both the width and/or length of the system 100. In this example, the side frame members 110 also include an adjustable mechanism 135 similar to that shown in the example of FIG. 1. This provides the significant advantage of not only allowing adjustment to accommodate different sized products by allowing width adjustment, but also allows for accommodating different sized shelving or other support surfaces, without replacing a whole facing system. The side frame members 110 may include first and second sections 111 and 112 that are adjustably engaged by an adjustment mechanism 135, to slidably engage sections 111 and 112 together. The adjustment mechanism 135 allows each side frame member to have its length increased or decreased to a desired length. The length of each side frame member can be adjusted by pushing and holding the button 134 until the desired length is achieved, and the button is released to lock the sections 111 and 112 together.
  • As shown in FIG. 2, the front and rear frame members 120 and 130 may also comprise the adjustment mechanism 135 as described with reference to the example of FIG. 1, or these may provide a fixed width while the length is adjustable via the mechanisms 135 associated with the side frame members 110. Again, any other suitable adjustment mechanism 135 may be used and is contemplated in the invention.
  • Referring to FIG. 3, there is shown a further example of the facing system in accordance with the invention, which allows the system 100 to be folded flat for packaging, shipping, handling and storage. This has the significant advantage because the size of the facing system can be reduced significantly, for example by up to seventy five percent. In this example, the facing system 100 comprises the two side frame members 110 and front and back frame members 120 and 130, which are engaged with one another by hinges 150. The hinges 150 allow connection between the frame members in a manner that allow each of the frame members to be folded against an adjacent frame member as shown in FIG. 3. Any number of commonly available connecting methods can be used to provide rotatable connection including, but not limited to, hinges or bearings.
  • Referring to FIG. 4, there are shown side wall extensions 201 attachable to the facing system 100. The bottom of the side wall extension 201 is applied with a magnetic strip 210 so that the side wall extension can be attached to one side of the side frame member 110. Any number of commonly available attaching methods including, but not limited to, a magnetic or Velcro™ strip can be used to attach the side wall extensions to the side members, or the side members 110 may include structure to engage the side wall extensions 201. Further, referring to FIG. 4, an end wall extension 202 can be assembled with two side wall extensions 201, and/or the rear frame member 130. For example, the end wall extension 202 may have protrusions 204 on its edges. The protrusions 204 can be inserted into the holes 205 located on the side wall extensions 201. As shown in FIG. 5, when assembled, the side wall extensions 201 and back wall extension 202 allow support for products positioned in the facing system 100, such as stacked products like cans or the like, both when positioned on the shelf or support surface, and during a facing procedure.
  • Referring to FIG. 6, another example of the facing system 100 may include one or more magnetic members 106 on the front frame section 120, which allows the facing system 100 to be retained in its retracted position until a facing procedure is to be performed. This allows the facing system to be securely, but releasably attached on a shelf to ensure the products are properly aligned, and to prevent unwanted movement of system 100. As many display shelves or other display systems are formed of metal, the magnetic member 106 will be magnetically attached to the shelf or the like when the front frame section 120 is laid flat on the shelf. If the support surface is not metal, a front lip member (not shown) may be separately attached to the front of the shelf or other support surface, to which the magnetic member 106 will be attracted to and retained with. Such a front lip member may be adhesively attached to the shelf or other support surface, or in other suitable ways. Another magnetic or metal member may be attached to the shelf or support surface at a position to mate with the magnetic member 106 on the frame member 120. Alternatively, or in conjunction with a magnetic member on the front frame member 120, the side frame members 110 may include a magnetic member or strip 106 as shown in FIG. 6. If desired as an alternative, the tops of the frame members 120 and/or 110 may include a magnetic member or strip to engage another facing system 100, to allow multiple facing systems 100 to be stacked and retained together. Any other suitable retaining mechanism to allow simple and effective retention on a shelf or support surface may be used and is contemplated in the invention, such as a Velcro™ strip or the like to be used to securely attach the facing system to shelves.
  • FIG. 7 illustrates another example of a facing system 100 according to the invention, providing for adjustment of the width of the system 100. In this example, the front and rear frame members 120 and 130 may comprise a mating c-channel configuration 136, which allows width adjustment of the front and rear frame members 120 and 130, and maintains a set width by frictional engagement of the c-channel members. The adjustment mechanism 136 is created by forming a c-channel slot in which the mating c-channel is insertable and frictionally engaged. Width adjustment is performed simply by sliding the c-channels relative to one another to a desired width. Though not shown in this example, the side frame members 110 could also include an adjustable mechanism 135 similar to that shown in the example of FIG. 2, or can be of fixed lengths. In this example, the system 110 again provides the ability to accommodate different sized products by allowing width adjustment. Again, other suitable length or width adjustment mechanisms 135 or 136 may be used and are contemplated in the invention. As shown in FIG. 8, the systems 100 may allow for use with an array of products with varying widths, and on shelving of different depths by suitably sizing the systems 100.
  • FIG. 9 illustrates another example of side wall extensions 201 attachable to the facing system 100. The bottom of the side wall extension 201 is applied by using side panel slots 211 which can be inserted into the facing system 100 for support.
  • While the invention has been illustrated and described in detail in the foregoing drawings and description, the same is to be considered as illustrative and not restrictive in character, it being understood that only illustrative embodiments thereof have been shown and described and that all changes and modifications that come within the spirit of the invention are desired to be protected. Additional features of the invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art upon consideration of the description. Modifications may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.

Claims (11)

What is claimed is:
1. A product facing apparatus for aligning and drawing products along and to the front of a support surface, comprising,
a frame including first and second side members, and a front and back member;
at least the front and side frame members including an adjustment mechanism to allow the length of the front and back frame members to be adjusted.
2. The product facing apparatus of claim 1, where the first and second side frame members including an adjustment mechanism to allow the length of the side frame members to be adjusted.
3. The product facing apparatus of claim 1, where the adjustment mechanism is lockable into position.
4. The product facing apparatus of claim 2, where the adjustment mechanism is lockable into position.
5. The product facing apparatus of claim 1, where the front and back frame members include two sections attached to one another via the adjustment mechanism.
6. The product facing apparatus of claim 1, where the frame members are attached to one another via hinges, to allow each of the front and back frame members to be folded to a position adjacent one of the side frame members.
7. The product facing apparatus of claim 1, where the front frame member includes a magnetic member on at least one edge thereof, which engages a support surface on which the product facing apparatus is positioned.
8. The product facing apparatus of claim 1, where the side frame members include a magnetic member on at least one of the top and bottom thereof.
9. The product facing apparatus of claim 1, further comprising side wall extensions attachable to the side frame members.
10. The product facing apparatus of claim 9, where the side wall extensions include a magnetic member to attach to the side frame members.
11. The product facing apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a back wall extension attachable to the back frame member.
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