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Publication numberUS3741617 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 26, 1973
Filing dateAug 30, 1971
Priority dateAug 30, 1971
Publication numberUS 3741617 A, US 3741617A, US-A-3741617, US3741617 A, US3741617A
InventorsGloyd L
Original AssigneeAmerock Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Self-service merchandiser
US 3741617 A
Abstract
A knockdown, portable merchandiser includes a base section with upright side walls spanned by a back wall and a plurality of open front compartments located between the side walls for self-service storage of retail articles. An upper section fits edge-to-edge on top of the base section and includes a storage box projecting below the lower edge of the upper section for insertion into the upper end of the base section to align and stabilize the upper section on top of the base section. Rectangular panels overlap the side walls of the upper section and the base section with opposite ends of the panels attached to the side walls of the base section and upper section, respectively, to hold the upper section on top of the base section.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

lluited States Patent [1 1 Gloyd Inventor:

US. Cl 312/108, 312/118, 312/234, 312/111 Int. Cl A4711 87/00 Field of Search 312/107, 108, 111, 312/114, 117, 118, 148, 234, 263, 278, 279; 108/60, 111; 211/148 [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1/1881 l-loffmeier 312/279 X 12/1904 Geraci 31,2/118 X 10/1961 Michaelsen 312/234 X 3,741,617 June 26, 1973 Primary ExaminerJameS C. Mitchell Attorney-Wolfe, Hubbard, Leydig, Voit & Osann [5 7] ABSTRACT A knockdown, portable merchandiser includes a base section with upright side walls spanned by a back wall and a plurality of open front compartments located between the side walls for self-service storage of retail articles. An upper section fits edge-to-edge on top of the base section and includes a storage box projecting below the lower edge of the upper section for insertion into the upper end of the base section to align and stabilize the upper section on top of the base section. Rectangular panels overlap the side walls of the upper section and the base section with opposite ends of the panels attached to the side walls of the base section and upper section, respectively, to hold the upper section on top of the base section.

PAIENIEDmzs 1915 3 741 61 7 sum 3 or 4 /f {f INVENTOR.

SELF-SERVICE MERCHANDISER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to a merchandiser of the type in which retail merchandise is stored for self-service access by customers.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The primary object of the present invention is to provide a new and improved knockdown, portable merchandiser of the above general character which may be set up for use in less time and with much less effort than is possible with prior merchandisers.

A further object is to provide a merchandiser of the above type which, when assembled, is very sturdy and capable of standing free of walls or other additional support so that the merchandiser may be placed in the most advantageous selling position possible within a store.

A more detailed object is to provide the merchandiser with a unique connection which serves to facilitate assembly of the merchandiser by guiding together the component sections of the merchandiser and which holds the assembled sections together so that the resulting merchandiser is freestanding and very sturdy.

Another object is to provide the sections with a plurality of storage areas especially arranged and positioned so that customers can easily see and remove individual articles stored within the areas and so that the merchandiser is easy to restock so as to maintain a large supply of articles.

An additional object is to construct the merchandiser so that the inner wall surfaces of the sections provide areas for mounting actual samples of the articles offered for sale and for mounting photographs or other illustrations depicting the articles in use. It is a further object to construct some of the walls of the merchandiser so that, when the samples are mounted thereon, the samples cannot be removed .easily and sold should the supply of stored articles be exhausted.

These and other objects and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent from the following detailed description when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a self-service merchandiser embodying the novel features of the present invention. I

FIG. 2 is anenlarged side elevational view of the merchandiser.

FIG. 3 is an enlarged front elevational view of the merchandiser.

FIG. 4 is a plan view taken substantially along the line 4-4 of FIG.3.

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view taken substantially along the line 5-5 of FIG. 3.

FIG. 6 is an enlarged fragmentary cross-sectional view taken substantially along the line 6-6 of FIG. 3. FIG. 7 is an enlarged fragmentary cross-sectional view taken substantially along the line 7--7 of FIG. 3 and showing in phantom an article mounted on the merchandiser.

FIGS. 8, 9, l0 and 11 are enlarged cross-sectional views taken substantially along the lines 8-8, 9-9, 10-10 and 1111, respectively, of FIG. 3.

FIG. 12 is an exploded side elevational view of parts of the merchandiser.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS As shown in the drawings for purposes of illustration the invention is embodied in a self-service merchandiser 20 for use by a retail merchant to market articles of merchandise. In general, the present invention contemplates a merchandiser suitable for use in marketing a particular line or complement of merchandise wherein areas for storage of the articles are arranged for easy access and identification of the stored articles by customers. In addition, inner wall surfaces 21 (FIG. 1) of the merchandiser provide areas for mounting samples of the articles and photographs or the like depicting the uses of the various articles to help stimulate impulse purchases. With the present merchandiser, a large supply of individually packaged articles of the line of merchandise is available so that customers can help themselves to the article of their choice without need of the assistance of a clerk.

Herein, the merchandiser 20 is assembled from basically two portable sections, a base secton 23 and an upper section 24, each of which is sized for easy handling and shipping from the factory to the retail merchant. Both sections are generally the same size, being of a rectangular box shape with open fronts and spaced upright side walls 25 and 26 connected together by back walls 27 and 29. Located between the side walls 25 of the base section is a plurality of storage bins or compartments 30 which are supported on generally horizontal shelves 31 and open toward the front for easy access by customers. The inner surfaces of the walls 26 and 29 of the upper section provide the display areas for photographs and actual mounted samples of the articles. When assembling the'merchandiser, the upper section 24 is placed on top of the base section 23 with the lower edge 33 of the upper section in abutting engagement with the upper edge 34 of the base section so as to define a joint 35 between the two sections.

In carrying out the invention, provision is made of a unique quick-assembly connection 36 between the two sections 23 and 24 so that the time and work previously required to set up similar displays are reduced substantially. For these purposes, the connection includes an article storage box 37 (see FIGS. 1 and 12) which serves as a guide when placing the upper section on top of the base section. Two panels 39 fasten the sections together when mounted on the side walls 25 and 26 across the joint 35 between the two sections. With this arrangement the merchandiser can be set up much more quickly and easily than was possible heretofore. Moreover, the assembled merchandiser is very sturdy and is capable of standing free of room walls or other supports thereby allowing the merchandiser to be placed in the most desirable location within a store for the stimulation of sales.

In the present instance, the upper end of the base section 23 is open to admit the lower end portion 40 of the storage box 37 to fit between the inner wall surfaces 41 a generally horizontal plane for abutting engagement with the bottom edge 33 of the upper section 23 to provide vertical support for the latter on top of the base section.

The storage box 37 is mounted across the lower end of the upper secton 24 and extends downwardly beyond the bottom edge 33 of the upper section. As shown in FIG. 5, the box is narrower than the side walls 26 and extends along the lower front surface of the back wall 29 of the upper section, the box being fastened at both ends to the side walls 26 and extending lengthwise along the back wall. The upper side 44 of the box is open and is located below the top end of the upper section to leave the inner wall surfaces 21 of the side walls and back walls exposed for the display of mounted samples and photographs of the articles being offered for sale.

To fit the two sections together, the upper section 24 is lowered onto the base section 23 as shown in FIG. 12 with the opposite ends 45 (FIG. 4) of the lower end portion 40 of the storage box 37 engaging the inner surfaces 41 of the side walls 25 of the base section and the rear wall 46 of the box engaging the inner surface of the back wall 27 (see FIG. of the base section so that the bottom edge 33 of the upper section 24 is guided into abutting engagement with the top edge 34 of the base section. Thus, the two sections are mounted one on top of the other in edge-to-edge supporting engagement with the box holding the edges 33 and 34 in alignment with each other by reason of the tight fit of the box between the side walls. Moreover, the coaction between the box and side walls advantageously serves to stabilize the upper section against sidewise movement.

Once the upper section 24 has been placed on top of the base section 23, the two side panels 39 (FIGS. 1 and 12) are used to hold the two sections together by being attached to the side walls 25 and 26 of both sections across the joint 35. For this purpose, the panels are generally rectangular in shape and are sized to be fastened on the inner surfaces of the side walls 25 and 26 between the front of the storage box 37 and the front edge of the side walls across the joint by screws as indicated at 47 in FIG. 2. So fastened, the top edges of the panels are located in the same horizontal plane as the upper side 44 of the storage box and the bottom edges of the panels rest on the upper shelf 43 with the exposed surfaces of the panels defining a portion of the inner wall surfaces 21 to which samples of the articles may be attached. With the panels in this position, the exposed inner surfaces of the side walls 26 and the back wall 29 further define the inner wall surfaces 21 to which the photographs may be attached.

To highlight the photographs and samples on display, lights 49 are located within a cornice 50 (FIG. 4) which provides additional support to the upper section 24 by extending between the upper front end corners of the side walls 26. Preferably, the cornice is a separate part of the upper section and is attached quickly to the upper section by pins 51 (FIG. 2) which extend into holes in the edges of the side walls and the edges of the opposite ends 53 of the cornice.

To further facilitate self-service by customers, the compartments 30 are of different depths and the shelves 31 are titled upwardly and forwardly with respect to the horizontal at an angle a (FIG. 5) of about 9. This positions the ends of cartons (not shown) containing the articles in a common plane facing somewhat upwardly for easy reading of end labels and identification of the cartoned articles stored within the compartments. As shown in FIG. 3, different sizes of compartments are provided to accommodate different sizes of articles. Preferably, the smaller compartments are located adjacent the side walls 25 of the base section 23 with the larger and deeper compartments positioned centrally within the base section. This permits more efficient utilization of the space within the merchandiser 20 by using the otherwise wasted space behind the shallower compartments as vertically opening bins 54 (FIG. 8) for the storage of elongated articles. The bins are accessible through openings 52 (FIG. 5) in the shelf 43 and include forwardly and upwardly inclined front walls 55 so that articles can be removed easily from the bin without interference with the lower end portion 40 of the storage box 37 (see FIGS. 4 and 5).

Additional storage space is provided by the box 37 which includes a plurality of vertical bins 56 arranged side-by-side across the length of the box. As shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, the bins, while being all of the same height, are of different depths and widths for different sizes of articles. An irregular opening 57 within a front wall 58 of the box extends along the lower ends of the bins with the height of the opening at any particular bin being correlated with the height of the article to be stored within that bin. Preferably, the opening at each bin is just slightly greater than the height of the carton containing the article stored in that bin so that only one carton at a time can be removed from a given bin through the opening.

As shown in FIG. 3, the upper portion of the front wall 58 of the box 37 is formed by a door 59. Tee latter is hinged along its lower edge to swing between a vertical position (see FIG. 6) closing the front of the box and a horizontal position exposing the bins 56 for loading purposes. To limit movement of the door into the horizontal position, one end of a length of chain 60 is attached to the upper center of the door and the other end of the chain is fastened to the back wall 29 of the upper section 24 as shown in FIG. 6. To reach the back wall, the chain extends through a vertical passage 61 (FIG. 4) located between the two center bins of the storage box. Also extending through the passage are two cords 63 (FIG. 6) which connect at one end to a sash balancer 64 mounted on the back wall and at the other end to the upper center of the door to facilitate opening and closing of the door. When in the opened or horizontal position, the door provides a shelf upon which articles can be stacked before being placed in the bins 56. As shown in FIG. 7, the outer wall 65 of the door also defines a portion of the inner wall surfaces 21 which may be used to mount additional display samples of the articles.

To prevent easy removal of the display samples of the articles from the door 59, the latter is of double thickness and consists of the outer wall 65 and a back panel 66 spaced rearwardly of the outer wall by a peripheral frame 67. Prior to fastening the back panel to the frame, the display samples are fastened on the outer wall by screws 69 driven in through the back side of the outer wall such as are shown in phantom in FIG. 7 to attach an article 70 to the outer wall. Then the back panel is stapled to the frame to prevent access to the screws so that the display samples cannot be removed easily from the outer wall. Thus, when the supply of a particular article is exhausted, a merchant is more likely to order the article for a customer rather than remove and sell the display sample and the display remains in tact so that customers can see the entire line of articles even if a particular article is not immediately available for sale.

From the foregoing it will be apparent that the present invention provides a new and improved self-service merchandiser 20 which can be set up much more quickly and easily then previous merchandisers of the same general type. Thus, the merchandiser comprises essentially two portable sections, the base section 23 and the upper section 24. The latter includes the downwardly projecting storage box 37 which fits between the side walls 25 of the base section to guide the edges 33 and 34 of the two sections into abutting engagement and to stabilize the upper section on top of the base section. The panels 39 overlap the joint 35 between the two sections and are fastened to the side walls 25 and 26 of the upper section and the base section to hold the upper section in place on top of the base section. Thus, assembly of the merchandiser may be accomplished very quickly and easily, and if desired, display samples and pictures can be attached by the manufacturer before the merchandiser is received at the retail outlet so that all that needs to be done to set up the merchandiser for self-service is to assemble the two basic sections, attach the cornice and panels and stock the merchandiser with articles.

I claim as my invention:

1. A self-service merchandiser for display and storage of a complement of articles, said merchandiser comprising a freestanding base section having two spaced upright side walls and a back wall connected between said side walls, said walls having top edges defining an open top in said base section, a plurality of individual compartments spaced below said top edges and supported between said walls for storage of a number of said articles, an upper section including two upright side walls and a back wall connected between said latter side walls, said upper section walls having bottom edges, an elongated storage box mounted on the front side of the upper section back wall, the ends of said box being connected to the side walls of the upper section and the lower end portion of the box projecting downwardly beyond the bottom edges of the upper section walls to telescope into the base section and to guide the upper section onto the base section, said box keeping the top and bottom edges of the side walls aligned for abutting engagement with each other to support the upper section on top of the base section with the end portions of said box engaging the inner sides of the base section side walls to stabilize the upper section on top of the base section, and means fastened to the side walls of said sections to hold the two sections together, said sections providing inner wall surfaces adapted to support samples of said articles for display.

2. A self-service merchandiser for display and storage of a complement of articles, said merchandiser comprising a freestanding base section with two spaced upright side walls having top edges, a back wall connected between said side walls, a plurality of individual compartments spaced below said top edges, supported between said walls and having open front ends spaced from the front side of said back wall for access to articles stored within the compartments, an upper section including two upright side walls having bottom edges, a back wall connected between the latter side walls, an elongated storage box mounted on the front side of the back wall of said upper section, the side ends of said box being connected to the upper section side walls and the lower end portion of the box projecting downwardly beyond the bottom edges of the upper section to telescope into the base section and to guide the upper section onto the base section, said box keeping the tip and bottom edges of the side walls aligned for abutting engagement with each other to support the upper section on top of the base section, the lower portions of the ends of the box engaging the rear portions of the inner sides of the base section side walls to stabilize the upper section on top of the base section, and panels with opposite end portions overlapping the front portions of the side walls of said sections and being fastened to said side walls to hold the two sections together, said panels and the front of said box providing inner wall surfaces adapted to support samples of said articles for display.

3. A merchandiser as defined by claim 2 wherein the compartments extend rearwardly within the base section and end short of the back wall thereby to leave a space between the back wall and the back ends of the compartments, and a vertically elongated bin behind the back ends of the compartments within said space, the upper end of said bin opening in an upwardly direction forwardly of the lower end of the box to enable access to articles stored within the bin.

4. A merchandiser as defined by claim 3 wherein the front wall of said storage bin is tilted upwardly and forwardly so that articles stored therein slant downwardly and rearwardly toward the base section back wall to facilitate removal of the articles upwardly from said bin and past said box.

5. A merchandiser as defined by claim 2 wherein the bottom walls of said compartments are tilted downwardly and rearwardly toward the base section back wall at a common angle to facilitate identification and removal of the stored articles.

6. A merchandiser as defined by claim 5 wherein said storage compartments are of different front-to-rear depths to position the forward ends of different lengths of articles in a common plane at the front of the merchandiser to facilitate identification and removal of the stored articles.

7. A merchandiser as defined by claim 2 wherein said box includes a plurality of separate vertical storage bins arranged side-by-side across the length of said box, a door extending across the front side of the box and normally closing the upper front portions of said bins, means mounting said door for swinging into an open position for loading of articles into said bins, and a lower opening below the door and extending along the front and across the length of said box to enable removal of the lowest article stored within each bin.

8. A merchandiser as defined by claim 7 wherein said door includes a front panel and a back panel spaced from said front panel adapted to be separated from said front panel to enable attachment of samples of said articles to said front panel and to inhibit removal of the samples from said door.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US236495 *Jun 8, 1880Jan 11, 1881 Kitchen-dresser
US777895 *Mar 3, 1904Dec 20, 1904Jacob I ShappiroRefrigerator.
US3002795 *Apr 22, 1958Oct 3, 1961Rockford Show Case & Fixture CCounter display cases
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3892450 *Feb 22, 1974Jul 1, 1975Hallmark CardsCombination storage and display rack
US3980361 *Mar 28, 1975Sep 14, 1976Jerry ShawExpandable display system
US4848855 *Jul 13, 1987Jul 18, 1989Buckler CorporationAccessory storage device having modular construction
US7987998Aug 24, 2006Aug 2, 2011American Greetings CorporationMethod and apparatus for marketing greeting cards in display fixtures
US8172093May 6, 2009May 8, 2012American Greetings CorporationMethod and apparatus for marketing greeting cards in display fixtures
US8490810 *Oct 20, 2006Jul 23, 2013Snapware CorporationMethod of merchandising modular home storage containers to allow consumers to maximize storage space
US8943719Jan 17, 2007Feb 3, 2015American Greetings CorporationMethod and apparatus for marketing greeting cards
US8955694Sep 4, 2013Feb 17, 2015American Greetings CorporationGreeting card display fixture
US20080105630 *Oct 20, 2006May 8, 2008Lown John MMethod of merchandising modular home storage containers to allow consumers to maximize storage space
USD776463Oct 17, 2013Jan 17, 2017Behr Process CorporationCore color display module
Classifications
U.S. Classification312/108, 312/118, 312/111, 312/234
International ClassificationA47F5/10
Cooperative ClassificationA47F5/10
European ClassificationA47F5/10