US 3856146 A
A merchandise display apparatus adapted to contain merchandise and display typical installations of the merchandise. The apparatus is supported by a frame structure which is generally U-shaped, being comprised of two sections one for display, and the other containing shelving for storage. The shelving extends from one side of the U-shaped frame to the other side and is cooperatively engaged and supported by both sides. The display section is designed so that typical hanging merchandise can be displayed along with hardware as it would appear when assembled.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
[ Dec. 24, 1974 HANGING MERCHANDISE DISPLAY AND FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 3 5 w W 00 4 2 4 5 S U T A R A P P A G W N I A T N 0 C France...,........... 211/134  Inventor: Irving Levine, 23555 Park Belmonte, Calabasas Park l Primary ExaminerRam0n S. Britts 91302 Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Spensley, Horn & Lubitz 1 ,June 25, 1973  Filed:
 ABSTRACT A merchandise display apparatus adapted to contain Appl. No.: 373,398
merchandise and display typical installations of the merchandise. The apparatus is supported by a frame structure which is generally U-shaped, being comprised of two sections one for display, and the other containing shelving for storage. The shelving extends from one side of the U-shaped frame to the other side lsl 8 man,
M M H 2 mm C Hr u H H .e H N S UmF  References (Med and is cooperatively engaged and supported by both UNITED STATES PATENTS sides. The display section is designed so that typical hanging merchandise can be displayed along with hardware as it would appear when assembled.
211 134 21 l 134 2111177 1 Claim, 7 Drawing Figures 2,802,576 8/1957 Kelling............................
' 3,085,694 4/1963 Jones...............
3,223,246 12/1965 Daitch g 3,684 103 Bellinder.............................
PATENIEUBEQMIQM SHEET 2 pg 2 v 5 1 B4. 6m a Av R BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention The present invention relates generally to merchandise display apparatus, and more particularly to merchandise display apparatus which presents merchandise as it would appear assembled and contains the merchandise components necessary to assemble the displayed merchandise.
2. Prior Art The modem merchant requires devices which allow him to display merchandise as it appears assembled, while minimizing floor space requirements. The increasing importance of commerical merchandising makes it evident that more sophisticated apparatus are needed to permit the merchant to efficiently display his goods. The economics of merchandising also require that the merchandise display apparatus be easily transported and assembled, while attractively displaying the merchandise to a prospective customer.
In forms of display apparatus described in the prior art, typical display apparatus are prefabricated and consequently cumbersome requiring transportation to the display site as a total structure. This increases the cost encountered in transporting the apparatus to the merchant. The units described in the prior art are typically complicated and are used to display special types of merchandise, while requiring the merchant to maintain separate storage areas for inventory. The present invention substantially resolves a great many problems inherent in the devices described in the prior art.
In many prior art forms the display apparatus fancifully displayed the merchandise to the consumer but required the merchant to maintain a stock room or a separate place in which to store inventory. Floor space and storage space are critical items to the merchant and unwisely used space is a costly item; The prior art devices provided mainly for display and were not able to contain stock.
Although many of the prior art forms displayed merchandise they did not display the merchandise as it would appear installed or in a typical installation. Thus, the merchandise was displayed in its packaged form not as it normally would appear while in use.
Another method employed by merchants to reduce costs is to make merchandise self-serviceable, such that a customer may select the goods he desires without clerical help. This self-service operation requires that merchandise be displayed and stocked in close proximity. Most prior art forms attractively displayed the merchandise but did not make the stock easily accessible to customers and thereby impaired its value in selfservice operations. Prior art devices required clerical help to retrieve merchandise and to instruct consumers regarding the assembly.
Another problem in prior art forms of display apparatus occurs when they are utilized for inventory storage of hanging merchandise. Typically hanging type merchandise is contained in bags, and since bags have no stable base, they are difficult to store on conventional shelving. The bags are difficult to stock, loose their shape and frequently fall off from shelving described in the prior art.
As will be seen, the present invention is a merchandise and display apparatus which solves many of the problems of the devices described in the prior are. The present invention is easily transported and assembled while providing a display area and inventory storage region that permits consumer self-service. The display areas provides for portions of full-scale merchandise to .be displayed as it would appear assembled. The storage region provides special inclined shelving which enables the difficult to stock bagged hanging merchandise to be contained. The invention also permits storage for elongated hardware and other accessories.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention comprises an apparatus used to display and store merchandise, which facilitates transportation and is easily assembled. The present in-. vention is directed toward solving some of the problems encountered in the prior art. These problems include transportation, difficulty of assembly, proximity of inventory to display and an adequate display of the merchandise as it appears assembled. Therefore, the apparatus of the presently preferred embodiment of the present invention is shipped partially prefabricated with instructions for easily assembly, and is designed to permit self-service and efficient display.
The apparatus of the present invention is comprised of three basic sections: a first section for displaying merchandise as it would appear assembled; second and third sections for displaying and containing inventory merchandise. The present invention is a frame structure having a back frame and two end frames which are perpendicular to the back frame. Both side frames are shorter in length than the back frame and extend from the back frame forward, thereby creating a U-shaped display and inventory storage area. This U-shaped apparatus serves to contain and display merchandise in specific sections.
Each of the display sections provide for portions of full-scale merchandise to be displayed as it would appear assembled, which allows the merchant to display a complete line of hanging merchandise. The first storage section is composed of inclined shelving which permits bagged merchandise to be efficiently stocked and displayed. The second storage section is disposed on the exterior of the apparatus and allows elongated hardware members to be contained without interfering with the view of the display.
Thus, the present invention will benefit the user thereof economically. It will enable the user to display the merchandise as it would appear in use, thereby allowing consumers to visualize how each line of merchandise would appear installed. The apparatus also allows the entire stock of the merchandise to be contained proximity to the display allowing the self-service feature required by most merchants. In addition the apparatus is easily assembled and transported in a small nonbulky container. This feature allows the apparatus to be assembled or disassembled relatively easily or even moved from one location to another.
It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide an improved merchandise display and storage apparatus.
It is still another object of the present invention to provide a merchandise display and storage apparatus which is inexpensive and simple to fabricate.
It is another object of the present invention to protory.
It is yet another object of the present invention to provide a merchandise display apparatus which is easily transported and assembled.
The novel features which are believed to be characteristic of the invention, both as to its organization and method of operation, together with further objectives and advantages thereof will be understood from the following description considered in connection with the accompanying drawing in which a presently preferred embodiment of the invention is illustrated by way of example. It is to be expressly understood, however, that the drawing is forthe purpose of illustration and description only, and is not intended as a definition of the limits of the invention.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a front prespective view of the present invention as is would appear fully stocked while displaying the merchandise; 7
FIG. 2 is a top view of the present invention;
FIG. 3 is a cross sectional view taken along line 3-3 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a cross sectional view of the connection of the upper end frame to the upper back frame taken along line 4-4 of FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is a cross sectional view of the upper end frame showing the suspension devices taken along line 5-5 of FIG. 3;
FIG. 6 is a cross sectional vie-w of the lower end frame and side rack taken along line 6-6 of FIG. 3;
FIG. 7 is a cross sectional view taken along line 77 of FIG. 3 showing the connection between the upper and lower end frame.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PRESENTLY PREFERRED EMBODIMENT The presently preferred embodiment of the invention I is a display and storage apparatus having a back frame and two end frames which are perpendicular to the back frame, thereby forming a U-shaped display and storage area (see FIG. 2). This U-shaped frame structure is generally divided into two sections; an upper portion used for the display of assembled merchandise, and a lower portion used for storage of available inven- Although the scope of the present invention is broad enough to encompass use for great variety of goods, a preferred form is used to display and contain merchandise such as beads or other hanging merchandise (see FIG. 1). The invention may be used to display any type of merchandise when is mounted on or suspended from a hardware member such as a curtain rod. A preferred form of the present invention is specifically useful for displaying hanging string bead merchandise, and will be described hereinafter in that regards for the purpose of example.
An understanding of the presentinvention can be best gained by reference to FIG. 1. The upper portion of the apparatus is used for display. Displays are disposed within the back and end frames 20, 40 and 140 respectively. Also included within the display area are horizontal and vertical dividers which partition the 7 frames 20, 40 and 140. Each partitioned display area 33 is used to house hanging displays of different patterns in order that a complete line of the merchandise may be displayed. Each area 33 is capable of housing a portion of a full scale model of merchandise as it of three frame members: an upper back frame 20, a left end frame 40, and a right end frame 140. The end frames 40 and 140 are fastened to the back frame 20 by removeable couplings which can be implemented by bolts 92 and wing nuts 91 (see FIG. 4). Couplings join the end frame 40 and 140 to the back-frame 20 in order to form a U-shaped display area.
In the preferred form of the present invention, as best shown in FIG. 1, the display section is located in the plane of the upper back frame 20 and end frames 40 and 140. Thus, when hanging merchandise is installed in each display area 33 it will hang in the same plane as the back frame 20 and end frames 40 and 140 respectively. The display section is divided into several individual display areas 33. Each individual display area 33 is provided with apertures 95 for securing hardware such that an actual piece of hardware may be installed.
Each display area 33 is capable of containing hardware for suspending beads or other hanging merchandise. Thus, for example, in a typical hanging bead application, best shown in FIG. 1, a portion of the hardware from which the beads are suspended may be mounted within one area 33 such that one pattern of hanging goods may be displayed as it would appear installed. In another section a different display of beads and hardware may be shown thereby, enabling the user to display an entire line of hanging bead assemblies and their associated hardware. Included withinthe plane of the back frame 20 is a panel 96 for mounting printed matter. Also included within this section are hooks 93, from which accessories can be suspended, and a brochure holder 98. These features enable a user to install a complete line of merchandise which is selfserviceable.
Referring again to FIG. 1, the upper back frame 20 of the preferred form of the present invention is comprised of an upper side member 30 and lower'side member 29 which are in parallel, spaced relation to one another, and coupled to two end members 26 and 28, thereby forming the rectangular upper back frame 20. This frame member is subdivided into three horizontal sections, by two horizontal spacers 21 and 27 which are in parallel spaced relation to the side members 30 and 29 and are coupled to end members 26 and 28. These three horizontal sections are further subdivided by vertical spacers 22 and 24, thereby creating individual display areas 33. The upper horizontal section having two vertical spacers 22 and 24 typically divide the section into three equal areas. These vertical spacers 22 and 24 are coupled to side member 30 and horizontal spacer 21. The middle horizontal section is also subdivided by two vertical spacers 23 and 25 which are coupled to the two horizontal spacers 21 and 27 respectively. These vertical spacers 23 and 25 are positioned such that a center area is formed which is smaller than the two outer areas, additional vertical spacers 32 and 31 divide the lower horizontal section into three parts such that the middle portion is much larger than the two outer areas. Members3l and 32 are coupled to the horizontal spacer 27 and side frame 29.
It should be noted that the end frame members of both the upper and lower section of what are identical, being mirror images of each other best shown in FIG. 1. Thus, throughout the remainder of this disclosure only one end of the apparatus 100 will be described in detail, it being understood that the opposite end frame is identical.
Referring'now to FIG. 3, upper end frame 40 is comprised of four members: two side arms 41 and 42 and two end members 46 and 43, such that a rectangular shape is formed. The end frame 40 is typically divided into three contiguous sections having the same vertical spacing as the horizontal spacers in the upper back frame 20. Two horizontal spacers 44 and 45 are fastened between the side arms 41 and 42 to create individual display areas 33.
As can best be seen in FIG. 5 horizontal spacer 45 has a series of connections 99 in which L-shaped bolts 93 may be disposed providing suspension for hardware and accessories.
The lower portion of the present invention is used to securely contain a complete line of inventory (see FIG. 1). It is comprised of a series of shelves and one counter top. The counter top and shelves are disposed such that they are supported by the lower end frames 60 and 160 and lower back frame 50. The shelves and counter tops are used to contain the stock while allowing consumers to select a desired style of merchandise.
The shelves are inclined to slope downward from the front to the back such that the merchandise is selfstocking, while requiring little clerical maintenance (see FIG. 3). The inclined shelves also provide optimum visibility for the consumer, while adding stability to the apparatus 100. The inclined shelving is essential when hanging merchandise, such as beads, are stored on the shelves in bags. The bags are not allowed to deform and are prevented from falling off the shelving because of their scoped positioning. The storage area for each style of merchandise is located immediately below each display area 33 providing easy access for the consumer. This design makes it convenient for the merchant and the consumer, since the merchant can utilize its self-service feature without putting an undue burden on the consumer. Thelower portion of the preferred form of display apparatus 100 best shown in FIGS. 1 and 3 is fabricated from three framing members: a lower back frame 50, and two lower end frames 60 and 160 which are coupled perpendicular to the back frame, forming a U-shaped structure.
The lower back frame 50 has two side framing members SI and 56, where 51 is the upper member and 56 therefore only one of the members will be described in detail herein.
Referring again to FIG. 3, the lowerend frame 60 is fabricated from two side members 61 and 62 which are coupled to end framing members 63 and 67 such that a substantially rectangular end frame 60 is created. Three interior supporting members 66, 65 and 64 are coupled to the side members 61 and 62 forming lateral supports for the shelving. These interior supporting members 66, 65 and 64 are positioned in an acute angle in relation to the end framing members 63 and 67, such that shelving when installed will be sloped downward from the front to the rear of the apparatus 100. The end frames 60 and 160 are secured to the lower back frame 50 by coupling side member. 62 of end frame 60 to end member 52 of back frame 50 such that end frame 60 is perpendicular to back frame 50. Frame 160 is similarly coupled to end member 53, thereby forming a U- shaped display and storage area.
Solid sheet shelving is installed in the lower portion of the present invention. Shelf 70, a solid sheet member, having a length equal to the length of the lower back frame 50, and a width equal the width of the end frame 60 is disposed between end frames 60 and 160 is the lower member. Two end members 52 and 57 are connected to the side members 51 and 56, forming the rectangular lower back frame 50. Two horizontalspacing members 54 and are disposed within the rectangular frame 50 being coupled to end members 52 and 57. These horizontal spacing members 54 and 55 in conjunction with side member 56 serve to support the shelves 79, 71 and 72. The rear side of the lower back such that the ends of the shelf rest on and may be coupled to the internal supporting members 64 and 164. For additional support the back longitudinal edge of shelf 70 bears onthe lower side framing member 56 of the lower back frame 50. A second shelf 71 positioned in much the same manner as the first shelf 70 and is disposed between and supported by members 65 and 165, while bearing on the horizontal spacing member 55 of the lower back frame 50. A third shelf 72 is similarly disposed between members 66 and 166 respectively, such that the rear edge of shelf 72 bears on the horizontal supporting member 54 of the lower back frame 50. A counter top 73 is disposed such that it is supported by end framing member 67 and 167 of the lower end frames 60 and 160 and side framing member 51 of the lower back frame 50. The counter top 73 has dimensions equal to that of each shelf 70, 71 and 73. The counter. 73 is disposed in a horizontal position and and not in a sloped position as is the shelving. As best shown in FIG. 2, each of the shelf members 70, 71 and 72 and the counter top 73 are notched 97 in the corners such that they can be positioned within the apparatus 100.
A side rack is provided for containing hardware and is attached to end frame opposite the shelving so as to not block or distort the view of the hanging merchandise or display (see FIGS. 1 and 6). The side rack 80 provides the consumer with hardware and accessories needed for assembly immediately adjacent the display. Thus, the entire stock may be kept within a small area. The side rack 80 is a slotted enclosure which allows hardware to be inserted such that it stands vertically paralleling one end of the apparatus 100.
In the preferred form of the present invention the side rack 80 shown best in FIG. 6 is attached to the outside of lower end frame 60. The side rack 80 is comprised of a back 82 and face 81 of sheet material positioned parallel to each other. Both the back 82 and the front 81 have a width equal to the width of the lower end frame 60 and a length equal to the length of the lower end frame 60. Two side members 83 and 84 and a bottom member 86 form the box shaped side rack 80, having'a top open end, wherein elongated merchandise may be stored. The side members 83 and 85 have a length equal to the length of the lower end frame 60 and a width of approximately five inches. The bottom member 86 has a width equal to the width of the side members 83 and 85 and a length equal to the width of the end frame 60. The back 82 and front 81 are coupled to the side members 83 and 85 and bottom member 86. Two internal dividers 88 and 87 are disposed within the side rack 80 such that three internal containing areas 85 are created. These members 87 and 88 are equal in length and width to the side members 83 and 85 and are fastened to the back 82 and front 81 along their longitudinal edges.
The preferred form of the present invention is delivered to a merchant partially pre-fabricated. The items pre-fabricated are the upper end frames 40 and 140, the lower end frames 60 and 160, the upper back frame 20, the lower back frame 50 and the side rack 80.
Assembly is commenced by the procedure described below, and as illustrated in FIG. 3. First, frames 60 and 160 are secured to the lower back frame 50 using four coupling bolts 92 and four wing nuts 91. Second, shelving is positioned after which the lower shelf 70 is fastened to the end frames 60 and 160 by two bolts 92 and nuts 91. Third, the upper end frames 40 and 140 are joined to the upper back frame 20 by four bolts 92 and four wing nuts 91. Fourth, the counter top 73 is positioned on the lower portion of the apparatus 100 and the upper portion is placed in alignment on the counter top 73 (see FIG. 7). Fifth, two bolts 92 and two wing nuts 91 couple the upper portion and lower portion together as the bolt 92 is disposed through frame member 46, counter top 73 and frame member 67. Note that nuts and bolts will not be required for the remaining shelves since the shelf 70 and counter top 73 lock the lower portion in position. Sixth, the side rack 80 is coupled to the end frame 160 by two bolts 92 and two wing nuts 91 which are disposed through the back 82, of the side rack 80, and through the framing member 161 and 162 (see FIG. 6). It should be noted that two side racks 80 may be installed on the apparatus 100, if desired by a merchant. I
The present invention for displaying and storing stock provides an efficient structure which is inexpensive and easy to fabricate. One of the primary objectives of the present invention is to provide a device which can be transported and assembled in a simplified maner. The characteristics of the present invention fulfill these objectives. In addition, the apparatus allows merchandise to be displayed as it would appear in use, while saving the user storage space and allowing a selfservice operation.
l. A merchandise display apparatus for displaying and storing hanging bead strands, elongated hardware members, bagged merchandise and accessories comprising:
a. a back frame, including an upper and lower portion wherein said upper portion has horizontal and vertical members which divide said upper portion into areas which may receive portions of completed hanging merchandise assemblies, means for coupling portions of said elongated hardware members to said upper portion, and means for suspending a multiple quantity of hanging bead strands from said upper portion, and wherein said lower portion has horizontal members which may receive and support shelving;
b. a pair of end frames, each comprised of an upper and lower pair, coupled to opposite ends of said back frame thereby forming a substantially U- shaped structure, wherein said upper portion has horizontal members which divide said end frame into an area which may receive portions of completed hanging merchandise assemblies, means for coupling portions of said elongated'hardware members to said end frame and means for suspending accessories from said end frame within the opening of the U-shaped structure and wherein said lower portion has inclined members for supporting shelvc. a plurality of shelves disposed in said lower portion and supported by said inclined members in said end frames and said horizontal members in said back frame, wherein at least one of said shelves is sloped downward towards said back frame whereby bagged hanging merchandise will remain secured on said sloped shelf; and a side rack having five enclosed sides and one open side being coupled to said lower portion of said end frame, said side rack adapted to receive and contain said elongated hardware members.