US 20100320109 A1
A pallet display with a plurality of product display sides, and preferably more than one product display side along a merchandising side of a display pallet or display pallet footprint. Products thus can be displayed adjacent one another but not aligned, thereby increasing the number of planogrammable areas. The pallet display may be modular so that the sections can be disassembled and fitted on half a shipping pallet, allowing two pallet displays to ship on a single shipping pallet. Portions of the display may also be disassembled and used as a separate and preferably different type of product display, such as a power wing or side wing. The display may be symmetrical about a diagonal of a display pallet, such that only one essentially triangular pallet display may be formed to fit within a triangular footprint.
1. A pallet display comprising:
a plurality of independently formed product display units, each product display unit comprising a vertically extending tray having a plurality of product display levels vertically spaced from one another; and
a pallet display base shaped and configured to receive and to position said plurality of product display units with respect to one another to form an assembled pallet display fitting within a predetermined footprint with the boundaries of the predetermined footprint circumscribing said assembled pallet display;
said plurality of independently formed product display units are dimensioned to be packed together, loaded with products on said product display levels, to fit within a fraction of the predetermined footprint.
2. A pallet display as in
3. A pallet display as in
4. A pallet display as in
each said product display unit has a depth extending in a first direction and a width extending in a second direction substantially perpendicular to said first direction; and
the predetermined footprint is a right quadrilateral with a first dimension no less than three times said product display depth, and a second dimension no less than the sum of said product display depth and three times said product display width.
8. A pallet display having a first merchandising side and a second merchandising side adjacent and transverse to said first merchandising side, said pallet display comprising:
two product display sides facing toward each other and extending along and facing said first merchandising side; and
two product display sides facing toward each other and extending along and facing said second merchandising side;
at least one of said product display sides extending along said first merchandising side extends in a direction transverse to said first merchandising side; and
at least one of said product display sides comprises a plurality of vertically spaced display trays.
9. A pallet display as in
10. A pallet display as in
11. A pallet display as in
12. A pallet display as in
13. A pallet display as in
14. A pallet display as in
15. A pallet display as in
said merchandising sides are substantially perpendicular to each other and meet at a corner; and
said pallet display comprises at least one product display side extending across the corner at which said merchandising sides meet.
16. A method of shipping a pallet display in a predetermined shipping pallet footprint area and assembling said pallet display in a predetermined display pallet footprint area greater than said predetermined shipping pallet footprint area, said method comprising:
packing into a space of half the predetermined shipping pallet footprint a plurality of product display units each having a monolithic vertically extending tray with a plurality of product display levels vertically spaced from one another; and
unpacking said plurality of product display units and arranging said plurality of product display units in said predetermined display pallet footprint area.
17. A method as in
18. A method as in
19. A triangular pallet display having a first merchandising side, a second merchandising side perpendicular to said first merchandising side, and a non-merchandising side extending between and at an acute angle with respect to said first and second merchandising sides, wherein:
products are displayed along only said first and second merchandising sides such that upon placement of said pallet display on a quadrilateral pallet footprint, products are displayed on only one side of the right quadrilateral pallet diagonal and no products are displayed along the other side of the right quadrilateral pallet footprint diagonal.
20. A pallet display as in
21. A pallet display as in
said first and second merchandising sides are greater than 180 degrees apart; and
said two product display sides of each of said first and second merchandising sides are less than 180 degrees apart.
The present invention relates to a method of shipping a large quantity of promotional or base products to a retailer for display and sale to consumers. More particularly, the present invention relates to a method of shipping products on a pallet for display on such pallet (or a different display pallet) at a retail location for sale to consumers. The present invention also relates to a method of packing and shipping product display units efficiently to increase the number of product display units that may be shipped in a given shipment volume.
Pallets are commonly used to ship large quantities of products. For instance, manufacturers or client marketers may load products onto pallets for transport from manufacturing facilities to warehouses or distribution centers, and then for further transport from warehouses or distribution centers to the manufacturer's customers, such as retailers. Although retail stores generally stock their goods in purchasing aisles grouped by product category (e.g., pharmacy goods, cleaning products or supplies, paper goods, stationery supplies, foods, pet food and pet care items, clothes, toys, entertainment media, electronics, etc.), and may even have more specific category breakdowns for purchasing aisles (such as the following product categories under the more generic “pharmacy goods” category: oral care products, wound care products, hair care products, baby products, makeup, over-the-counter medicines; or the following product categories under the more generic “foods” category: cereals, beverages, dairy, meat, frozen foods, snacks, breads, baking items, canned goods), retailers may use the pallets on which products are shipped for in-store display of the products in the wider aisles that are generally not dedicated to a given product category. Such wider aisles of the store (commonly called “main drive aisles” or the “action alley” or “racetrack”) generally are predominantly provided for consumer travel to access the dedicated purchasing aisles.
The use of pallets in such manner provides various cost savings to both the retailers and the manufacturers. For instance, the pallet loaded with products may be deposited (e.g., by fork lift) directly at the display location in the store, rather than deposited in the stock room, back room, or inventory, thus freeing up space in the retailer's stock room. Employees need not expend time and energy transporting cartons of the product from the stock room to a shelf (or other display area) at a merchandising location, such as a home location or in-line location for the product (the essentially permanent location for the product at a given retail location), unloading the cartons, and stocking the shelf with the product. Because larger quantities of a product may be displayed on a pallet than on a typical store shelf, less time and effort is expended in re-stocking the display for the product. In fact, products typically are shopped down from a pallet and not restocked. Moreover, because larger quantities of a product may be displayed on a pallet than on a typical store shelf, all products remain on the pallet and the retailer need not dedicate stock room space to store products (as would be the case if such products were displayed on a shelf which cannot accommodate the full pallet-load of products). Once the display is largely sold down/sold through, the stock from a promotional display may be placed in the home location of the product.
Manufacturers benefit from having their products displayed on a pallet because pallets typically draw consumer attention by virtue of their mass and stand-alone location along the wider aisles or main drive aisles of the store generally traveled to access the purchasing aisles. The display of products on pallets positioned in a main drive aisle induces impulse purchases, not only because such displays tend to grab consumer attention, but also because the product is positioned for higher visibility. More particularly, there is more foot traffic (and thus a greater number of potential shopper pass such display) in a main drive aisle because consumers typically circulate through the store by walking the perimeter or main drive aisle. Moreover, normally products are only seen if a consumer is in the “home” purchasing aisle for such product. The main drive aisle is not the home location for any particular product category, but, instead, is traveled by the consumer to reach a desired product category aisle. By definition, products on a pallet in a main drive aisle are not in their home location. Thus, even if the consumer passes over the home purchasing aisle for a given product (without walking down such aisle), if such product is displayed in a main drive aisle, the consumer likely will view such product in transit to other purchasing aisles. Another benefit of pallets displaying products outside their home location is that the products generally are away from competitor products, since competitor products generally are not stocked on the same pallet (in contrast with the mix of competitor products in a planogrammed shelving area in the home purchasing aisle for that product category). The exclusivity a manufacturer gains from the essentially isolated display of its products is particularly desirable in that consumers are not distracted by other products and are more likely to buy the manufacturers' product over a competitor's product.
In order to enhance saleability and the attention-grabbing aspect, including the visual impact/aesthetic impact, stopping power, or signature—personality (see and remember quality) of displaying products on pallets, manufacturers may utilize pallet displays, which are a type of display designed to rest on a pallet (or at least to be set among other pallets used to display products). Pallet displays permit the efficient shipping and rollout to sales floors provided by simply displaying products on a pallet, yet also permit various additional benefits. One significant benefit of pallet displays is that they may be designed to have various features that attract consumers. For instance, pallet displays generally contain sufficient panels or “billboard” space or printable surface area for graphics, product imagery, branding (e.g., logos), consumer education, or other messaging and communications. Generally, more information may be provided on a pallet display than at the home location for the product (on a shelf in the aisle dedicated to the product category for such product). Structural elements may also be provided to enhance the display (such as by providing additional graphics, etc., or audio-visual effects, etc.). Likewise, the pallet display may have a unique shape or configuration enhancing display of the products. Pallet displays thus are generally more aesthetically appealing than displays of products merely stacked on a pallet.
Despite the above benefits, pallet displays still present several disadvantages. Because of the desire to reduce the time normally required by a retailer to stock and to display products, pallet displays often are designed to minimize if not to eliminate the need to reface products (to bring products to the front edge of the display shelf). Therefore, the depth of each display shelf generally does not extend to the center of the pallet, leaving empty, unutilized space at the center of the pallet. Also, because some products are not sold in sufficiently high volume, it is desirable to leave empty space in the middle of the pallet so that the pallet display maintains a well-stocked appearance over the time necessary to sell down the products in the pallet display. Because pallet displays are usually shipped in an already-assembled form, pallets carrying pallet displays also carry a lot of empty space within such pallet display. Approximately 25-50% of a given cubic volume dedicated to shipping products (such as on a freight truck or train) may be empty space captured by the display for the products.
Moreover, pallet displays often are not amenable to displaying different products. A GMA (Grocery Manufacturers Association) standard pallet is a 40 inch (101.6 cm)×48 inch (1219.2 cm) rectangle. If more than one product is to be displayed along one side of the pallet, there may not be enough space for the desired panels for providing messaging for more than one of the mix of products displayed on such side. Even a 48 inch (1219.2 cm)×48 inch (1219.2 cm) square pallet may not readily provide sufficient space to display more than one type of product while also permitting the desired messaging.
Finally, pallet displays often are provided for promotional products that generally are available only on displays. Such promotional products, by their nature, do not have a home location and therefore should not or even cannot be placed on a retail shelf (or other more permanent display area) once the display is partially sold through. The retailer thus does not have a ready location available for a relatively small number of products left on a large promotional pallet display that has been mostly sold down/sold through. Such remaining products may be transferred by the retailer from their promotional pallet display to another location that does not receive much shopper traffic/visibility (thus reducing the likelihood of being purchased) to make room for a new, fully-stocked pallet display. The transferred remaining products may be sold at a significantly reduced price, resulting in losses both to the retailer as well as to the manufacturer.
It therefore would be desirable to form a pallet display that reduces empty space typical of pallet displays while allowing ready and easy consumer access to products in the display. It would be further desirable to provide such pallet display in an attractive form that is visually appealing and catches shoppers' attention. Graphics, product information, or other messaging or visuals may be provided on the pallet display to encourage the consumer to choose the displayed product(s) over competitors' products.
Thus, in accordance with one aspect of the present invention, a pallet display is formed with an increased number of product display sides to permit retailer display and consumer shopping of more than one type of product, such as related products, along a given merchandising side of the pallet display. In accordance with one embodiment, at least two product display sides of a pallet display formed in accordance with the principles of the present invention are at an angle with respect to a given side of a display pallet (or at least a rectangular or square pallet footprint) on which the pallet display is positioned. Thus, a greater display width (lateral extent of products being displayed) may be achieved than if the products were displayed essentially parallel to the given display pallet or pallet footprint side. Moreover, because the front facings of the products on the angled product display sides are not aligned, the products may be viewed together, yet are visually differentiated by their relative unaligned positions.
In accordance with another aspect of the present invention that need not be achieved by the above-described pallet display, a pallet display may be formed in accordance with principles of the present invention to display products along only a portion of a standard pallet, such portion being other than a half or quarter portion of a standard display pallet or pallet footprint. As such, only a customized corresponding pallet display can be used on the remaining display pallet or pallet footprint. In accordance with one embodiment, a pallet display is formed in accordance with principles of the present invention to occupy a substantially triangular area, with products backing up along a diagonal of a standard display pallet or pallet footprint.
In accordance with yet another aspect of the present invention that may be achieved with either, both, or neither of the above-described inventive pallet displays, a pallet display may be formed in accordance with principles of the present invention to be disassembled and packed in a more compact disassembled form. More particularly, a pallet display that occupies the area of a standard display pallet or pallet footprint is formed in accordance with one aspect of the present invention to be disassembled and packed in an area half that of a standard shipping pallet. Thus, at least two pallet displays may be shipped on a single shipping pallet, and then assembled into a full-sized pallet display occupying the area of a full-size display pallet.
In accordance with yet another separate and independent aspect of the present invention, a pallet display may be formed in accordance with principles of the present invention to have at least one portion that may serve dual display functions. For example, at least a portion of a pallet display in formed in accordance with this aspect of the present invention may be disassembled from the pallet display and used as separate display element. More particularly, such separate display element may be a power wing or side kick used to display products at an end cap. Such dual function provides a home location for promotional items displayed on a pallet display and which otherwise would not have a home location if moved from the pallet display for display elsewhere.
These and other features and advantages of the present invention will be readily apparent from the following detailed description of the invention, the scope of the invention being set out in the appended claims.
The detailed description will be better understood in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein like reference characters represent like elements, as follows:
A pallet display may be formed with one or more separate and independent inventive features in accordance with the principles of the present invention. Each feature, at least alone, has unique benefits which are desirable for, yet not critical to, the present invention. Therefore, the various separate features of the present invention need not all be present in order to achieve at least some of the desired characteristics and/or benefits of the present invention. One or more separate features may be combined, or only one of the various features need be present in a pallet display formed in accordance with the principles of the present invention. Moreover, throughout the present application, reference numbers are used to indicate a generic element or feature of the present invention. The same reference number may be used to indicate elements or features that are not identical in form, shape, structure, etc, yet which provide similar functions or benefits. Additional reference characters (such as letters, as opposed to numbers) may be used to differentiate similar elements or features from one another.
An exemplary pallet display 100 embodying various principles of the present invention is illustrated in
In accordance with one aspect of the present invention, pallet display 100 has an increased number of product display sides 120 along each merchandising side 122. For purposes of description of the present invention, the term “merchandising side” is used to refer to a side along which products may be seen or “shopped” by a consumer (positioned for viewing together without need for the consumer to move to adjust his or her vantage point). In the context of a pallet display, a merchandising side may be considered to extend along a side S of a display pallet 124 on which the pallet display is supported, or along a side of a footprint the size and shape of a pallet if a supporting or display pallet is not provided. For purposes of the description of the present invention, a pallet display is dimensioned and configured to fit on a support or display pallet (such as exemplary pallet 124 illustrated in
Preferably, a pallet display 100 formed in accordance with the principles of the present invention has two or more product display sides 120 along at least one, and preferably along more than one, merchandising side 122. In the exemplary embodiment of
Because the more than one product display sides 120 of exemplary pallet display 100 are not aligned (i.e., front edges 112 of the display shelves 110 of each product display side 120 do not lie along a straight line, and are not parallel to one another, or, in other words, are not 180 degrees with respect to one another), the more than one product display sides 120 are differentiated at least spatially from one another. Preferably, at least two adjacent product display sides 120 along a given merchandising side 122 are not parallel to each other. Products displayed on product display sides 120 that are less than 180 degrees apart from one another (such as product display sides 120 a and 120 b in
Pallet display 100, formed with more than one product display side 120 facing but not co-aligned along a common merchandising side 122, as described above, may readily be used to display more than one product segment in a given product category. For instance, for the oral care product category, pallet display 100 can be used to display toothpaste, mouthwash, dental floss, and toothbrush product segments in a common pallet display 100 that physically differentiates the segments from one another by displaying the segments along unaligned product display sides 120. Similarly, in the wound care product category, wound cleansers, wound treatments (such as topical antibiotics), and bandages may be displayed together in the same pallet display 100, physically differentiated by being displayed in unaligned product display sides 120. Food product segments, such as cooked cereals, dry cereals, and breakfast bars, in food product categories may likewise be arranged in a common pallet display 100, segregated by virtue of their product display sides 120 being unaligned. Similar principles may be applied to other retail products or items.
In accordance with a related aspect of the present invention, a product display side 120 may be provided along more than one merchandising side 122 by providing a product display side diagonally across an intersection of two different merchandising sides 122. As such, the diagonally-intersecting display side may be shopped along either merchandising side 122 intersected by the diagonally-intersecting display side. For instance, diagonally-intersecting display side 120D1 (
As may be appreciated, a pallet display 100 formed in accordance with the principles of the present invention permits a greater variety of products to be displayed than permitted by a typical pallet display. Pallet display 100 may also be formed to provide surface area for displaying information in an efficient manner which does not impinge on areas that may be dedicated to displaying products. As described above, front lip or panel 116 may bear display information. In addition, side walls of product display units 120 provide surface area on which display information may be provided either directly or on a separate panel affixed to side walls 130. Because a pallet display 100 having more than one product display side 120 along a merchandising side 122 allows products from different product segments or even different categories to be viewed at the same time while still being physically or spatially differentiated from one another, it may be desirable to provide display information concerning the connection between the various different products displayed. Products that may be used in conjunction with one another may be displayed on adjacent product display units 110 with product display sides 120 angled at an acute angle with respect to each other. A panel bearing consumer education-type information (such as use of the displayed products in conjunction with one another) may be provided near the adjacent product display units 110, such as along an exposed side face 130 of a product display unit 110 carrying the product corresponding to the information or a product display unit 110 adjacent the product display unit 110 carrying the product corresponding to the information. If one of the product display units 110 b has a back wall 132 b backing against the back wall 132 c of another product display unit 110 c, then a wider panel than possible along only one side of a single product display unit 110 may be provided across the exposed side walls 130 b, 130 c of the abutting product display units 110 b, 110 c (see
Typically, it is desirable to design a pallet display to maintain its aesthetic appeal as it is shopped down (i.e., as products displayed thereon are removed for purchase). Accordingly, a pallet display 100 formed in accordance with the principles of the present invention may be formed to have a display shelf 110 with a shelf depth SD selected in view of the depth of the products to be displayed thereon to satisfy any of a variety of display considerations. For instance, because products on pallet displays generally are not “faced” (i.e., brought to the front of the shelf by store-keepers or clerks), the shelf depth may be selected such that the products are readily accessible (considering, without limitation, ergonomics, safety, and convenience) even if only one product is left on the shelf, at the back of the shelf. Additionally, or alternatively, shelf depth SD may be selected so that a product remains readily visible even if it is in the back of the shelf. Additionally, or alternatively, shelf depth SD may be selected so that structural stability is not affected if a given shelf is empty and the shelf above that given shelf is still loaded with products. Such shelf depth typically does not extend to the center of the pallet on which the pallet display rests, leaving empty, unused space at the center of the pallet display. As may be appreciated, it is concurrently preferable to reduce the amount of empty, unused space in the middle of the display. Thus, in accordance with the principles of the present invention, it is preferable to have at least one product display unit 110 with a back wall 132 backing onto a back wall 132 of another product display unit 110, as may be appreciated with reference to
As discussed above, a pallet display 100 may be formed in accordance with the principles of the invention to maximize the number of products displayed within a given display footprint defined by a pallet. Thus, empty space is preferably significantly reduced. Any remaining empty space within the central area of assembled pallet display 100 may be covered or capped or filled with a pallet filler, as is typical in the art, and as will be described in further detail below.
In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, a pallet display is configured for placement on a pallet or within a pallet footprint, but to occupy a footprint other than that of a full pallet. Although pallet displays have been designed to occupy half the footprint of a pallet, prior half-pallet displays have been designed to occupy a rectangular footprint, allowing another half-pallet display to occupy the remaining rectangular footprint on the pallet. For example, standard pallets are a 40 inch (101.6 cm)×48 inch (1219.2 cm) rectangle, and therefore standard pallet displays occupy a 40 inch (101.6 cm)×48 inch (1219.2 cm) rectangular footprint. If the manufacturer or retailer desires to ship or to display only half the quantity of products that would be held in a full-size pallet display, a half-pallet display may be used to display half a pallet's worth of products on a half-pallet footprint of 40 inch (101.6 cm)×24 inch (60.96 cm) or 20 inch (50.8 cm)×48 inch (1219.2 cm). In accordance with the principles of the present invention, in the embodiment of
In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, that is separate and independent from the above-described features, yet which may be combined with any or all of the above-described features, exemplary pallet display 100 may be formed from a plurality of product display units 110 that are movable with respect to one another. A pallet display 100 formed in such manner need not be shipped pre-assembled. Instead, the product display units 110 may be packed in a more compact manner, such as stacked or packed against one another, filling the otherwise empty space on the shipping pallet. Such modularity substantially eliminates empty space during transport, thereby significantly increasing transport capacities and efficiency overall, as will become evident with reference to the exemplary illustration of
An exemplary manner of compactly packing a plurality of product display units 110 (not assembled together to form a pallet display) is illustrated in
The shipping footprint in which the ten display units 110 are arranged in the example of
Because pallet displays are normally pre-loaded with products for simple and ready placement on the retailer's store upon arrival, it is preferable that each product display unit 110 of the present invention is pre-loaded with products before being packed and shipped on a pallet. It is particularly preferable for a pallet display formed as in the inventive embodiment of
An exemplary manner of assembling a plurality of product display units 110 from a disassembled packed configuration as in
Exemplary receiving section 160 of exemplary pallet display base 152 of
Exemplary insert section 170 of exemplary pallet display base 152 of
As noted above, pallet fillers 150 may be provided to fill empty space between the individual product display units 110 of pallet display 100. Pallet fillers 150 may be formed from a unitary piece or from more than one element coupled together (with or without separate coupling or fastening elements). In the exemplary embodiment of
Preferably, pallet fillers 150 are put into position over product display units 110 once product display units 110 have been arranged into the desired configuration of a completely assembled pallet display 100. With reference to the exemplary pallet fillers 150 of
In accordance with yet another aspect of the invention, which optionally, though not necessarily, may be implemented in conjunction with any or several or none of the above-described inventive features, a pallet display may be formed to permit at least one product display unit to be disassembled from the rest of the pallet display and to be used for another type of product displaying purpose. As illustrated in the exemplary embodiment of
Although pallet display 100 of
It will be appreciated that the dimensions (e.g., height, width, depth) of a pallet display or a separable product display unit (to be used as another type of product displaying element such as a power wing) formed in accordance with the principles of the present invention may be set by the retailer. Accordingly, the present invention is not limited to specific dimensions and the various principles of the present invention may be applied to conform to dimensional requirements imposed by the industry. The total weight of a pre-loaded pallet display formed in accordance with the principles of the present invention may also be set by the retailer or government standards. Accordingly, features of the present invention relating to the weight of a pre-loaded pallet display formed in accordance with the principles of the present invention (such as the weight-bearing capability of the material from which a pallet display or at least a product shelf is formed) also are not limited by the present invention, but, instead, by retailers and/or the industry in general and/or the government or other regulatory officials.
It will be appreciated that features described with respect to one embodiment typically may be applied to another embodiment, whether or not explicitly indicated. Moreover, various features of the exemplary embodiments are to be understood as exemplary and may be modified as desired without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention. For instance, although scalloping is illustrated along the edges of one or more of the upwardly extending side walls 166 of wells 164, such edges may be straight or otherwise shaped. Likewise, edges illustrated as straight in the exemplary embodiments may be scalloped or otherwise contoured. The top edge of the front lip 116 of each product display shelf 112 or individual product display tray 113 may not be horizontal, but, instead, may be shaped to include more information or images (such as appropriate for the product being displayed). It will further be appreciated that the various features hereinafter described may be used singly or in any combination thereof. Therefore, the present invention is not limited to only the embodiments specifically described herein.
While the foregoing description and drawings represent exemplary embodiments of the present invention, it will be understood that various additions, modifications and substitutions may be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention. In particular, it will be clear to those skilled in the art that the present invention may be embodied in other specific forms, structures, arrangements, proportions, and with other elements, materials, and components, without departing from the spirit or essential characteristics thereof. One skilled in the art will appreciate that the invention may be used with many modifications of structure, arrangement, proportions, materials, and components and otherwise, used in the practice of the invention, which are particularly adapted to specific environments and operative requirements without departing from the principles of the present invention. For example, elements shown as integrally formed may be constructed of multiple parts or elements shown as multiple parts may be integrally formed, the operation of elements may be reversed or otherwise varied, the size or dimensions of the elements may be varied. The presently disclosed embodiments are therefore to be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive, the scope of the invention being indicated by the appended claims, and not limited to the foregoing description.