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Publication numberUS20060043038 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/203,925
Publication dateMar 2, 2006
Filing dateAug 15, 2005
Priority dateSep 1, 2004
Publication number11203925, 203925, US 2006/0043038 A1, US 2006/043038 A1, US 20060043038 A1, US 20060043038A1, US 2006043038 A1, US 2006043038A1, US-A1-20060043038, US-A1-2006043038, US2006/0043038A1, US2006/043038A1, US20060043038 A1, US20060043038A1, US2006043038 A1, US2006043038A1
InventorsMichael Wetzel, Gary Cunningham
Original AssigneeAir Innovations, Inc.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Scalloped rack or shelf for floral merchandiser
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.
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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 claim 1 wherein the overlapping round voids of said scalloped cutout comprise a row of overlapping circular cutouts each circular cutout defining a position at which a round flower container can be positioned, each said circular cutout having a circle diameter and defining a center-to-center distance between successive said circular cutouts, where the center-to-center is at least about half the circle diameter, but less than the circle diameter, thus allowing the round flower containers to be placed in every other position.
3. The rack or shelf according to claim 1 further comprising a flat panel cover member adapted to be fastened onto said top panel to serve as a solid shelf member without cutouts.
4. The rack or shelf according to claim 3 wherein said cover member is pivotally supported on said top panel so that it can be swung between a cover position atop said top panel and a storage position behind said panel.
5. The rack or shelf according to claim 4 wherein said cover member is supported on a transverse axis.
6. The rack or shelf according to claim 1 further comprising means for selecting a pitch angle of said shelf so as to permit optimal display of flowers in said flower containers.
7. The rack or shelf according to claim 1 wherein further comprising side walls to supporting said top panel from left and right ends thereof, and a pair of struts adapted to attach to a vertical wall of said floral merchandiser, each said strut being adjustably mounted onto a respective one of said side walls, and said side walls including means permitting the pitch angle of the shelf to be adjusted relative to said struts.
8. The rack or shelf according to claim 7 wherein said means permitting the pitch angle to be adjusted includes a series of pin holes formed in an arc in each of said side walls, said pin holes adapted to receive a mounting pin to fasten the side wall to the associated one of said struts.
9. The rack or shelf according to claim 8 wherein said side walls are disposed below a plane of said top shelf, and said pin holes are situated at a rear portion of each respective side wall, with a front portion of the side wall being pivoted to a front end of the associated strut.
10. The rack or shelf according to claim 1 comprising a plurality of similar said racks or shelves to be arrayed one above the other on a vertical wall of said floral merchandiser.

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

FIG. 1 is perspective view of a shelf arrangement, showing a plurality of shelves according to this invention supported one above the other on vertical standards, which may be formed or affixed onto the vertical wall of the floral cooler or floral merchandiser cabinet.

FIG. 2 is a top plan view of a shelf according to an embodiment of this invention.

FIG. 3 is a back view of the shelf of this embodiment.

FIG. 4 is a left side view of the shelf, the right side view being a mirror image.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the shelf of this embodiment.

FIG. 6 is another perspective view of the shelf, showing the solid top shelf moving between an active position and a storage position.


With reference to the drawing Figures, FIG. 1 shows a number of scalloped display shelves 10 arranged on a pair of vertical standards 12, which can be on the back wall of a floral display cabinet (not shown) of the type illustrated and disclosed in my Design Pat. No. D496,053. Each shelf 10 has a right-side and left-side strut 14 that fits into the respective vertical standard 12, and can be adjusted both in the pitch angle of the shelf 10 and in the distance of the shelf from the standards 12 and back wall. Each shelf 10 in this embodiment has a top panel 16 that is generally horizontal, left and right side walls 18 each of generally trapezoidal shape, a back wall 20 that is generally vertical, and a flange or lip 22 along the lower edge of the back wall 20.

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 FIG. 2, in this embodiment the scalloped or wavy cutout 24 formed in the top panel 16 is configured as a row of circular overlapping voids, in this example with diameters of 7 inches, and with a center-to-center distance of about 4⅝ inches, so there is an overlap of adjacent circular voids of about 2⅝ inch. The edge of the cutout has a curvature radius of 3⅝ inch with cusps 33 between adjacent arcs, which here have a curvature radius of inch. In one preferred embodiment, the shelf 10 has a nominal width of four feet (48 inches) and the scalloped cutout 24 defines a series of nine positions from left to right. Wider shelves can have more positions to accommodate a larger number of flower vases. There are holes 35 formed at the forward corners of the top panel 16.

FIG. 3 is an elevation of the shelf, showing the front edge 30 and the back wall 20. There is a gap 36 at each of the right and left ends of the shelf, defined between the back wall 20 and the left and right side walls 18, 18. The support struts 14 are positioned in these gaps 36. The side walls 18 as shown in FIG. 4 are generally trapezoidal in shape, with a lower edge that angles at about thirty degrees relative to the top edge and top panel. A series of pin holes 32 are formed in an arc at the back portion of each side wall 18, and these serve to receive a pin that affixes the shelf to the associated strut 14. Here, the shelf can be positioned at any of four angular pitches, depending on the selection of pin hole 32. In other embodiments there can be more or fewer holes 32. Also other means for adjusting the shelf pitch angle can be employed. The front part of the shelf 10 pivots at the front ends of the pair of struts 14. In this case, the front end of the strut is captured by the corner formed by the top panel 16 and the front edge 30 so a pivot pin or pivot member is not needed. In other embodiments, a discrete pivot element could be provided at the front edges of the side walls 18 and the front ends of the struts 14.

Additional mounting holes 37 are shown in the back wall 20 (see FIG. 3).

The general shape of the shelf 10 of this embodiment is shown in FIG. 5. FIG. 6 is similar, but shows the flip-up solid shelf cover 17. Here, the cover is being swung between its storage position behind the back wall 20 and a active cover position where it overlies the top panel 16. The swinging action can be achieved with a transverse pivot in respect to the back edge of the top panel 16. Alternatively, the cover may involve both a sliding and swinging action, being first pulled upwards and then being allowed to swing down to the cover position. Many other arrangements are also possible.

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.

Referenced by
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US7775379 *Oct 3, 2006Aug 17, 2010American Greetings CorporationRetail display for greeting cards
US7815059 *Jun 27, 2007Oct 19, 2010John Francis MulhollandDisplay rack and method for supporting containerized plants
US8720704 *Mar 7, 2012May 13, 2014Anil K. GuptaModular storage and display system
US8789712 *Jun 28, 2012Jul 29, 2014Target Brands, Inc.Loose item display fixture
US9004298 *Jan 31, 2012Apr 14, 2015GSKY—Plant System Inc.Interlocking plant propagation and display tray and method of use and assembly
US20120298599 *Jan 31, 2012Nov 29, 2012Chad SichelloInterlocking Plant Propagation and Display Tray and Method of Use and Assembly
US20130045471 *Feb 10, 2012Feb 21, 2013Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc.Training system for investigations of bioengineered proteins
US20130233814 *Mar 7, 2012Sep 12, 2013Anil K. GuptaModular storage and display system
WO2010053349A2 *Nov 5, 2009May 14, 2010Julien Thomas Hodson-WalkerBotanical arrangement and display apparatus
U.S. Classification211/88.03, 211/85.23, 211/103
International ClassificationA47G7/02
Cooperative ClassificationA47G7/044, A47F7/0078
European ClassificationA47F7/00J1, A47G7/04D
Legal Events
Aug 15, 2005ASAssignment
Effective date: 20050809