US 20060043038 A1
A rack or shelf for a floral display cabinet has a scalloped cutout that holds a number of round or conic vases or flower containers. The scalloped shape allows the containers to be held in a number of configurations. The containers do not shift or slide if the merchandiser is bumped or moved. The tip or pitch angle of the shelf can be adjusted. A cover for the shelf allows the shelf to be used as a solid flat shelf for supporting items from the bottom.
1. A rack or shelf for a floral merchandiser including a top panel having a scalloped cutout extending transversely thereon for supporting a plurality of round flower containers therein, said scalloped cutout being formed as a row of overlapping generally round voids defined by a series of arcs.
2. The rack or shelf according to
3. The rack or shelf according to
4. The rack or shelf according to
5. The rack or shelf according to
6. The rack or shelf according to
7. The rack or shelf according to
8. The rack or shelf according to
9. The rack or shelf according to
10. The rack or shelf according to
This application claims priority of U.S. Provisional Pat. Appln. 60/605,802, Sep. 1, 2004, which is incorporated by reference herein.
The invention concerns floral display cabinets and merchandisers, and is more particularly directed to a shelf or shelving system for holding a number of round or conic containers. The invention is concerned with a shelf that can be used with the floral merchandisers as shown and described in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 29/189,833, High-Profile Refrigerated Floral Merchandiser Unit, now U.S. Pat. No. D496,053, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference.
The shelves can be mounted on a back vertical wall of floral display cabinet, and the round containers or vases, which each may hold water plus a quantity of cut flowers, rest in a row in a recess or recesses formed in the shelf. The containers are supported from their sides on the cutout or recess, so that the bottoms of the containers are not supported on a shelf.
Conventionally, the containers are supported in individual circular opening or sockets in the shelf, or else there is a long rectangular opening or recess, with straight sides, for supporting several containers.
In the prior art, the typical racks that have an open rectangular recess or cutout do not hold the round containers in place very well, as they can roll and move sideways, e.g., from customer handling or from moving the entire merchandiser. The racks with fixed circular openings do not have any flexibility as to how the containers can be arranged or distributed on the rack within the floral display cabinet. The racks with fixed circular openings do not have any flexibility as to how the containers can be arranged or distributed on the rack within the floral display cabinet.
Moreover, the pitch angle (i.e., the angle at which the shelf and containers are tilted to present the floral items to customers) is typically at a fixed angle, or else it requires considerable effort to adjust the angle of the shelf. Moreover, no thought has been given previously to a simple means to convert the apertured shelf to one with a solid, unapertured surface (i.e., without the cutouts for the vases) for supporting items at their bases or bottoms.
Accordingly, it is an object of this invention to provide a shelving system for floral merchandisers which avoids the drawbacks of the shelves or racks of the prior art.
In particular, it is an object to provide a shelf or rack that accepts and holds a number of round floral containers, and in which the containers can be arranged in a number of configurations.
It is another object to provide a shelf or rack that has a scalloped or wavy cutout which may hold a number of floral containers, and in which the containers do not shift or slide along the cutout.
A further object is to provide shelves or racks for which the tip or pitch angle can be easily adjusted for optimal presentation of the floral merchandise.
Still further, an object is to provide a shelf or rack for a floral display or merchandiser cabinet in which the shelf or rack can be easily converted from one with an open cutout to one with a solid or unapertured shelf top.
According to an aspect of this invention, a rack or shelf for a floral merchandiser is provided with a top panel having a scalloped cutout extending transversely, such that the top panel supports a plurality of round flower containers in its scalloped cutout. The cutout is formed as a row of overlapping generally round voids defined by a series of arcs. The wavy or scalloped contour of the cutout or recess represents a significant advance over the shelving of the prior art for that purpose.
That is, in order to secure the containers or vases from rolling or shifting, for example, if the floral merchandiser is moved or bumped, the cutout or recess of the rack or shelf has a scalloped shaped, i.e., the cutout is formed of a row of overlapping circular cutouts. The center to center distance between the circles is greater than half the circle diameter, but less than a full diameter, and favorably about three-quarters of the diameter. This arrangement allows the flower containers to be positioned in every other position, i.e., first, third, fifth, etc. or at the alternate positions, i.e., second, fourth, sixth, etc. If it is desired for a particular display arrangement, the containers can be spread out more, e.g., first, fourth, and seventh positions. This allows the merchant to arrange the floral containers as best suits the type of flowers being displayed and offered for sale.
In preferred embodiments of this invention, the tip or pitch angle, i.e., the angle of the shelf with respect to the horizontal, is fully adjustable, from flat to 30°. In the flat position, the shelf can be covered so as to form a solid shelf without openings. The racks or shelves can be moved vertically up or down on the shelf standards. The shelf or rack may be formed so that it is angled slightly towards the customer for better display of the flowers. Also, the shelf or shelves may be supported on struts of different lengths, so that some shelves are spaced further from the vertical wall and some closer, allowing the lower shelves to protrude out towards the customer and upper shelves to be further back, again for optimal display of the cut flowers.
In addition, a solid cover (without the cutouts) can be movably attached onto the shelf, i.e., pivoted on a horizontal axis, so that the cover can be swung into place over the cutout when a solid shelf is needed, but can be swung back into a storage position behind the shelf when not needed.
These an many other objects, features, and advantages of this invention will become apparent to persons skilled in the art after considering the ensuing description of a preferred embodiment, when read in conjunction with the accompanying Drawing.
Reference is made to the drawing Figures, in which
With reference to the drawing Figures,
The top panel 16 of each of the shelves has an elongated scalloped or wavy cutout 24 formed of a series of overlapping circular voids, and defining a series of lateral positions for round containers of vases 26, as shown here. In the arrangement shown, there is only one vase 26 supported on each shelf 10, with the vase being at the rightmost position of eleven positions, i.e., position number eleven in this example. Here each shelf could support six vases, at positions 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 and 11, or alternatively five vases at positions 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10. The vases could be at each third position, or some other spacing. The vases 26 are supported by the arcuate edges of the cutout 24, and so the bottom is suspended above any surface below. This allows the shelves to be used with vases or flowers of varying height. Each shelf has a front edge or flange 30 of about one inch to one and a quarter inch extending down from the top panel 16.
As an option, one (or more) of the shelves can be provided with a solid top panel, with no cutout, as top shelf 10′ shown here. This can be done by having an unperforated panel 17 fastened on the rack or shelf so as to overlie the top surface 16 thereof. In practice, the panel could be of a mesh material, so long as it is capable of supporting the bottoms of articles.
As shown in
Additional mounting holes 37 are shown in the back wall 20 (see
The general shape of the shelf 10 of this embodiment is shown in
In preferred embodiments, the shelves 10 are formed of aluminum of a thickness of 0.090, and painted a suitable color. Other materials, e.g., steel or plastic, could be employed instead. Also, the dimensions are not critical, and can be adapted for different sizes of floral display cabinets, and the wavy or scalloped cutout can be adapted to different sizes or styles of vases, as need be. It is also possible for the cutout to have arcs of different degrees, or that the wavy shape be present on one portion of the cutout only.
These and other objects, features, and advantages of this invention would be apparent to persons who work in this field, without departure from the full scope and spirit of the invention, as defined in the appended Claims.