US 3872974 A
A device including a flat body portion adapted to rest on the upper surface of a shelf. The body portion has upwardly projecting ridges extending in a front-to-back direction of the shelf, the ridges defining parallel merchandise receiving regions. A merchandise receiving trough extends forwardly of the front edge of the body portion and projects below the plane of the body portion. The body portion, ridges, and trough may be formed integrally from a single piece of plastic sheet material.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
limited States Patent 11 1 1111 3,872,974 Anstatt 1451 Mar. 25, 1975  MERCHANDISE DISPLAY DEVICE 3,476,257 ll/l969 OConnell 248/205 A 3 a Inventor: Peter J att Oa and J 3,777,673 12/1973. Blazey 3l. /..09 Asslgneel Ellison D9 y Primary Examiner-Paul R. Gilliam I P Fair Lawn, NJ. Assistant Examiner-Andrew M. Calvert  Filed. Oct. 29 1973 Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Breitenfeld & Levine  Appl. No.: 410,941 ABSTRACT A device including a flat body portion adapted to rest A 33 on the upper surface of a shelf. The body Portion has  Field 01 Search 211/42, 43, 134, 153; l Prolectmg "dges extimdmg 1 from 2 I back direction of the shelf, the ridges defining parallel 48/205 A, 108/26, 312/209, 140.3 I
merchandise receiving regions. A merchandise recelving trough extends forwardly of the front edge of the  References Cited body portion and projects below the plane of the body UNITED STATES PATENTS portion. The body portion, ridges, and trough may be 2.784.973 3/1957 Nemec 108/26 X formed integrally from a singlepiece of plastic sheet 2,888,148 5 1959 Meyers 211/153 materiaL 3.193.108 7/1965 Johnson 211/134 X 3,460,899 8/1969 Miller 312/209 X 8 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures MERCHANDISE DISPLAY DEVICE This invention related to merchandise display devices, and more particularly to such a device adapted to rest upon a store shelf.
The invention is thought to have particular utility in supermarkets, but it may advantageously be used in other types of retail outlets as well. Each long shelf of a supermarket carries many different types and brands ofmerchandise. It is important to both the supermarket proprietor and to the manufacturers of the products carried by the supermarket that the various types and brands ofproducts be arranged in an orderly fashion on the shelves so that the stocked shelves appear neat and attractive. Furthermore, it is important to each manufacturer that the shelf space allocated to his product not be usurped by another manufacturers goods as the supply of his product on the shelf is depleted.
For these reasons, shelf organizers have beenused in the past which are placed on a store shelf to define a region for a particular product andguide the neat arrangement of the product on the shelf.
When a store proprietor or manufacturer wishes to bring a particular product, such as one being introduced on the market for the first time, to customer attention, it is common to use so-called shelf extenders. Such a device may be a tray-like element secured to a shelf so that it projects forwardly-from the front edge of the shelf, thereby extending "the shelf forwardly. Merchandise placed on such an element is of course more conspicuous than merchandise placed back furthcr on the shelf.
Until the present time, shelf organizers and shelf extenders have always been separate units. It is, therefore, an object of the present invention to provide a unitary display device serving as a combined shelf organizer and shelf extender.
It is another object of the invention to provide such a merchandise display device which can be made inexpensively on a mass production basis, and which is light in weight yet sturdy.
It is an additional object of the invention to provide a merchandise display device including a shelf extender which requires no fastening means for securing the extender .to the shelf.
Additional objects and advantages of the present invention will be apparent from the following description, in which reference is made to the accompanying drawings.
IN THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view ofa merchandise display device according to the present invention, the device being arranged on a store shelf which is shown in fragmentary form;
FIG. 2 is a horizontal cross-sectional view taken along line 2-2 of FIG. 1; and
FIG. 3 is a horizontal fragmentary cross-sectional view taken along the line 3-3 of FIG. 1.
The merchandise display device chosen to illustrate the present invention may be made ofa single piece of sheet plastic material, the sheet being formed, for example by a vaccum forming operation, into the shape shown in the drawings.
The display device includes a flat body portion adapted to rest in a horizontal position upon the upper surface of a store shelf 11. The body portion is formed with upwardly projecting parallel ridges 12 and 13, the
ridges extending in a front-to-back direction of the shelf 11. Ridges 12 and 13 define between them parallel merchandise-receiving regions 14 along which merchandise packages 15 can be arranged in orderly rows. For stiffening purposes, body portion 10 may be provided with ridges l6 and 17 extending along its front and reai edges, respectively.
Extending forwardly of the front edge 16 of body portion 10 is a trough 20. Trough 20 extends downwardly below the horizontal plane of body portion 10, and serves as a receptacle for receiving merchandise packages 21. When the display device is placed upon shelf 11, the rear wall 22 of trough 20 may abut the front edge 23 of shelf-11, but in any case through 20 projects forwardly of the front edge 23. As a result, merchandise packages 21 are more prominently displayed than are the merchandise packages 15, and other merchandise packages, arranged on the shelf.
Ridges 12 extending along the two side edges of body portion 10 are made higher than the intermediate ridges 13, as shown most clearly in FIG. 3. As a result, ridges 12 serve to stiffen the device and prevent the body portion 10 from bending significantly due to the weight of the merchandise packages 21 in the trough 20. It will also be seen that the ridges 12 extend forwardly beyond the front edge 16 of body portion 10, so
as to flank the trough 20, the ends of the trough being supported by the ridges 12.
An important advantage of the present invention is that no fastening means are required to secure the trough 20, serving as a shelf extender, to the shelf. The reason is that the merchandise packages 15 assembled on the body portion 10 counterbalance the weight of the merchandise packages 21 which have a tendency to pivot the device in a counterclockwise direction (in FIG. 2) about the front edge of shelf 11. However, if desired, strips of tape 24 may be provided on the lower surface of body portion 10 near the rear edge 17. A pressure-sensitive adhesive on the lower face of the tape strips will adhere to the upper surface of shelf 11. The tape not only helps prevent pivoting of the device off the shelf by the weight of merchandise packages 21, but also minimizes the possbility of movement of the display device along the length of the shelf.
. Although the embodiment of the invention described above is formed of a single sheet of plastic material,
other types of construction may be employed. For example, ridges 12, 13, 16, and 17 could be formed by metal rods appropriately bent and welded together, with metal screening or other sheet material filling the regions 14 between the rods. Trough 20 could also be formed by metal rods welded to the rods forming the ridges, or the trough could be formed of molded plastlC.
The invention has been shown and described in preferred form only, and by way of example, and many variations may be made in the invention which will still be comprised within its spirit. It is understood, therefore, that the invention is not limited to any specific form or embodiment except insofar as such limitations are included in the appended claims.
. What is claimed is:
1. A unitary merchandise display device comprising: a. a flat body portion adapted to rest in a horizontal position upon the upper surface of a shelf, b. said body portion having at least three ridges projecting upwardly above the upper surface of a shelf 3. A unitary merchandise display device as defined in claim 2 wherein said side edge ridges project higher than any other ridge so as to stiffen said body portion. 4. A unitary merchandise display device as defined in claim 2 wherein said side edge ridges extend forwardly of said body portion and flank said trough.
5. A unitary merchandise display device as defined in claim 1 wherein all said ridges are parallel and extended perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of a shelf upon which the device is placed.
6. A unitary merchandise display device as defined in claim 1 wherein said body portion, ridges, and trough are formed integrally of a single piece of material.
7. A unitary merchandise display device as defined in claim 6 wherein said material is a plastic sheet material.
8. A unitary merchandise display device as defined in claim 1 including means on the lower surface of said body portion near the rear edge thereof for adhesively securing said body portion to a shelf.