US 20030189018 A1
A display system is shown and includes a shelf consisting of a bottom horizontal portion and a rear vertical portion. An adjustment track extends horizontally along and is secured to the rear vertical portion of the shelf. The adjustment track has a C-shaped cross-section defining a lower track and an upper track. A divider support guide is sized to fit within the adjustment track having top and bottom end edges that fit within the upper and lower guide tracks respectively. The lower guide track has serrations therein that cooperate with and engage similarly sized serrations on the bottom end edge of the divider support guide. The divider support guide is sized so that the height thereof, i.e. the distance between its top and bottom edges, is less that the height or separation between the upper and lower guide tracks. A wire divider is secured to each divider support guide. In operation, a plurality of divider support guides are slidingly inserted into an adjustment track whereby the mutual serrations of the bottom divider support edge and the lower track of the guide face each other. The dividers will not move from a particular position as the result of linear forces there against in either direction along the adjustment track due to the interaction of their mutual serrations. However, each can be easily repositioned by lifting upward a sufficient distance to disengage the mutual serrations and then moving that guide horizontally in either direction along the adjustment track to the new desired location.
1. An adjustable shelf system for supporting and display a plurality of goods thereon, comprising:
a shelf having a bottom portion and a back portion transverse thereto,
a track secured along the shelf back portion and having a channel for receiving and retaining therein one or more divider supports, the one or more divider supports and the track having cooperative engaging means so that in a lower resting position the cooperative engaging means thereof engage and prevent movement of each support along the track, and the one or more supports manually operable to an upper position to disengage contact between the cooperative engaging means so that each one or more supports is moveable within the track to different positions there along for subsequent lowering to a different resting position, and each one or more supports having a shelf product divider secured thereto, each divider positioned to extend transversely to the extension of the shelf for providing separation of groups of products there along.
2. The shelf system as defined in
3. An adjustable shelf system for supporting a plurality of periodicals and the like, comprising:
a first shelf having a bottom portion and a back portion transverse thereto, the shelf for supporting a first plurality of periodicals thereon,
a track secured along the shelf back portion and having a channel for receiving and retaining one or more supports therein, the one or more supports and the track having cooperative engaging means so that in a lower resting position the cooperative engaging means thereof engage and prevent movement of each support along the track, and the one or more supports manually operable to an upper position to disengage contact between the cooperative engaging means so that each one or more supports is moveable within the track to different positions there along for subsequent lowering to a different resting position, and each one or more support having a further second shelf secured thereto, the second shelf for supporting a further second plurality of periodicals thereon at a predetermined height above the bottom portion of the first shelf.
4. The shelf support system as defined in
5. The shelf system as defined in
 The present invention related generally to point of purchase displays, and in particular to point of purchase displays for the retailing of books, magazines and newspapers.
 Point of purchase (POP) displays for the purpose of selling newspapers, magazines and books are well known in the art. It is generally preferable, particularly with magazines, that the front page is presented directly to the consumer, as little if any, useful information can be seen or read along the bound edge thereof. As is further understood, retailers sell space to the book and periodical publishers for presentation and sale of their publication to the public from their particular POP display, and there exist rather strict cost constraints with respect to the design and structure of such displays.
 As a result of the foregoing, prior art book and periodical displays typically consist of low cost wire rod shelves and dividers simply spot-welded together. Thus, the various widths of the particular periodicals are known and shelves having dividers set at those particular widths are manufactured. A problem with this approach is the inability to change the spacing between the dividers as everything is welded in place. Various spring biased pin or screw mechanisms are known that would provide adjustability, but result in unacceptable cost increases. Accordingly, it would be very desirable to have an adjustable POP display system for books and periodicals that is durable and is also low in cost.
 The POP display system of the present invention includes a plurality of L-shaped wire rods equally spaced form each other and held together by further spanning rods spot welded and extending transversely thereto. The L-shaped rods thereby form a shelf consisting of a bottom horizontal portion and a rear vertical portion. An adjustment track extends horizontally along and is secured to the rear vertical portion of the shelf. The adjustment track has a C-shaped cross-section defining a lower track and an upper track. A divider support guide is sized to fit within the adjustment track having top and bottom end edges that fit within the upper and lower guide tracks respectively. The lower guide track has serrations therein that cooperate with and engage similarly sized serrations on the bottom end edge of the divider support guide. The divider support guide is sized so that the height thereof, i.e. the distance between its top and bottom edges is less that the height or separation between the upper and lower guide tracks. A wire divider is releasably or permanently secured to each divider support guide.
 In operation, a plurality of divider support guides are slidingly inserted into an adjustment track whereby the mutual serrations of the bottom divider support edge and the lower track of the guide face each other. It will be appreciated that the dividers will not move from a particular position as the result of linear forces there against in either direction along the adjustment track due to the interaction of their mutual serrations. However, as the vertical height of each divider support guide is sized somewhat smaller than the vertical height of the adjustment track, each can be easily repositioned by lifting upward a sufficient distance to disengage the mutual serrations and then moving that guide horizontally in either direction along the adjustment track to the new desired location. Those of skill will appreciate that the adjustable POP system of the present invention is mechanically simple yet robust, while retaining a very low cost of manufacture.
 A better understanding of the structure, design, operation and objects and advantages of the present invention can be had by reading the detailed description of the preferred embodiments set out below, which detailed description refers to the following figures, wherein:
FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of the adjustable display shelf of the present invention.
FIG. 2 shows a perspective view of a track of the present invention.
FIG. 3 shows a further perspective view of the track of FIG. 2 and including a divider support positioned therein.
FIG. 4 shows a perspective view of a divider support.
FIG. 5 shows a front plan view of the divider support of FIG. 4.
FIG. 6 shows an environmental view of the present invention with a digest shelf secured thereto.
FIG. 7 shows a perspective view of a digest shelf alone.
FIG. 8 shows a perspective view of an alternate support embodiment.
FIG. 9 show a side plan view of the support of FIG. 8
FIG. 10 show an end view of an alternate track embodiment.
 The adjustable display shelf of the present invention is seen in FIGS. 1 and 6 and generally referred to by the numeral 10. Shelf 10 includes a plurality of L-shaped wires 12 held together by one or more spanning wires 14. The wires 12 thereby form an L-shaped shelf structure 16 having a bottom horizontal shelf portion 16 a and a vertical shelf portion 16 b. A plurality of L-shaped brackets 17, are secured to vertical shelf portion 16 b and include extensions 17 a for cooperating with slots 18 a of upright shelf support rods 18. Thus, it can be understood that brackets 17 provide for securing of one or more shelves 10 to a shelf support structure, and in this case it can be understood that said securing is releasable and easily adjustable to different levels along upright support rods 18. In addition, brackets 17 provide for an angling of shelves 10 so that any periodical or other goods placed thereon will lean in a backward direction against shelf portion 16 b decreasing any tendency for such objects to fall forward off from shelf 10. An elongate channel 19 is secured to the end of wires 12 of shelf bottom portion 16 a. Channel 19 provides for additional securing together of wires 12 and includes a front channel portion 19 a in which price and other sales indicia tags are placed and held. A shelf end wire loop 20 is secured to each end of shelf 10 and is secured to spanning wires 14 channel 19 and to a track 21, discussed below.
 A seen by also referring to FIGS. 2 and 3, the present invention also includes an adjustable track 21. Track 21 is C-shaped in cross-section and includes a bottom channel 22 and a top channel 24 separated by and integral with a vertical back or riser portion 26. Back portion 26 includes to channels 28 for providing added rigidity and to permit welding engagement thereof with shelf portion 16 b. Bottom channel 22 also includes a plurality of serrations or alternating V-shaped grooves and peaks 23. As seen in FIG. 1, track 21 is secured to wires 12 along a bottom end of vertical shelf portion 16 b.
 As seen in FIGS. 3, 4 and 5, a mounting or slideable support structure 30 is shown. Support 30 is essentially square in shape and sized to be mounted within track 21 by slipping into an end thereof. Support 30 includes serrations or V-shaped grooves and peaks 32 extending along a bottom end 34 thereof for cooperatively engaging the similar serrations 23 of track channel 22. The overall height H1 of track 21 is slightly greater than the height H2 of support 30. Thus, support 30 can be lifted upward in the direction of arrow A so that the serrations 32 thereof can be taken out of engagement with serrations 23 of channel 22, and conversely put back in engagement therewith by lowering support 30 onto channel 22 in the direction as indicated by arrow B. Support 30 also can include a divider attachment pocket 36 for receiving therein and retaining a triangularly shaped divider wire loop 38.
 In operation, it will be appreciated that divider loops 38 are secured to and carried on supports 30. When supports 30 are resting on and in track 21, the serrations 32 thereof and serrations 23 of channel 22 are in cooperative engagement wherein each divider loop 38 is retained in its particular position along track 21. Thus, two such divider loops 38 can be spaced apart a desirable distance commensurate with the width of the particular book, magazine or periodical that is to be displayed by resting on bottom shelf portion 16 a so that the front surface thereof is presented to the consumer. When a different separation is required, each support 30 is simply lifted within track 21 sufficiently to disengage the mutual serrations or teeth 32, 23 respectively thereof. Each support 38 can then be moved within track 21 sliding in either direction there along to a new suitable position after which it is lowered into place re-engaging the teeth 23, 32. It can further be understood that channel track 19, by virtue of extending somewhat upward of shelf portion 16 a, can serve to prevent any slipping forward of the bottom of, for example a magazine, that might occur in a direction from vertical self portion 16 b towards channel 19, also possibly resulting in the magazine falling from shelf 16.
 Those of skill will appreciate the shelf and track system of the present invention can be manufactured of suitable sheet metal and wire stock to be quite robust and long lasting. Moreover, such wire and sheet metal components are relatively inexpensive and can be assembled at low cost using, for example, spot welding to secure the various parts together. Of course, various changes can be made to the present invention and yet remain within the spirit and scope thereof. For example, support 30 need not have retainer pocket 36 whereupon a divider loop 38 could simply be secured by spot welding to a flat front surface thereof. Naturally, divider loops 38 could take on a wide variety of shapes and need not be closed loops. Also, other than shelf wires 12 could be used to form the shelf structure 16. Of course, the present invention can be scaled in size to accommodate a wide variety of materials for display including not only books, and the like, but also any of a variety of consumer goods.
 A further aspect of the present invention can be understood by referring to FIGS. 6 and 7. In the case of certain periodicals, it is desirable to present to the consumer an additional visual stimulus or enhanced presentation. A digest shelf 50 includes a wire frame 52 having an upper loop 53 creating an upper horizontal step or shelf area 54, and a vertical loop 56 creating between it and shelf portion 16 a a lower shelf step or area 58. Wire frame 52 is secured to a support 60 the same in all respects as support 30, but lacking the divider attachment pocket 36. Thus, support 60 is also positionable along track 21 in the same manner as discussed above relative to support 30.
 In operation, digest shelf 50 is held in place in track 21 as is seen in FIG. 6. The same periodicals can now be placed between a pair of divider loops 38 wherein a portion thereof rest on lower shelf area 58 and on upper shelf area 54. Those of skill will appreciate that the full front surface of the front-most of such periodicals that are placed on lower shelf area 58 will be fully visible to the consumer. However, for the remainder of such same periodical placed on the upper shelf 54 there will be a top portion of the front-most thereof that will also be visible. The amount of the top portion thereof visible to the consumer will, of course, be a function of the height differential between shelf portion 16 a and loop 53. This stepped view is desirable to certain periodical retailers as they will print their product so that a headline, their logo or other such attention getting graphics fit within this top portion so that such is clearly visible to the consumer. This digest or stepped appearance creates some additional eye appeal within essentially the same space. Of course, those of skill can understand that digest shelf 50 can include additional steps, as space permits, to provide any of a plurality of stepped levels from which to present the periodical.
 As seen in FIGS. 8 and 9, a further support 70 is shown. Support 70 includes a raised button area 72 on the front surface thereof. Button 72 is formed from support 70 by a stamping action performed on the reverse side 74 thereof resulting in the formation of raised button area 72 and the corresponding concave area 76. Thus, various shelf wires or other product supports can be directly welded to buttons 72 where a permanent securing is desirable. It will also be appreciated by those of skill that the alternate track embodiment 78, seen in FIG. 10, can eliminate the channels 28 whereupon the shelf structure can be directly spot welded to the back side 80 thereof. It will be apparent to those of skill that various other modifications can be made to the present invention without exceeding the spirit and scope thereof. And moreover, the illustrative preferred embodiment shown herein is specifically designed for the display of periodicals and the like, however those of skill will understand that the present invention is suitable for the support and display of a wide variety of products and not necessarily limited to publications.