Title:
Footwear packaging
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A footwear package comprises a flexible bag (2) or like container of which at least a front is light-transmitting. Closure means (23) is provided for closing the container. Locating means (21) is provided for locating items of footwear in the container.



Inventors:
Lee, Simon Lawrence (London, GB)
Potter, Edward William (London, GB)
Newland, Peter James (London, GB)
Application Number:
10/582458
Publication Date:
06/07/2007
Filing Date:
12/08/2004
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D85/18; B65D88/12
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
WEAVER, SUE A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Robert H Earp, III;McDonald Hopkins Co (600 Superior Avenue, E, Suite 2100, Cleveland, OH, 44114, US)
Claims:
1. A footwear package comprising a flexible bag or bag-like container of which at least a front is light-transmitting, closure means for closing the container, and means for locating items of footwear in a head-to-toe configuration within the container.

2. A footwear package according to claim 1, wherein the closure means includes one or more formations by which the bag is arranged to be suspended from a display rack.

3. A footwear package according to claim 1, wherein the footwear locating means is constituted by a piece of card.

4. A footwear package according to claim 3, wherein the piece of card is foldable.

5. A footwear package according to claim 1, wherein the locating means is constituted as a dividing member adapted to run generally diagonally or laterally of the bag or like container to separate the individual items of footwear contained thereby.

6. A footwear package according to claim 1, wherein the bag or like container is formed as an integral piece.

7. A footwear package according to claim 6, wherein the bag or like container is formed: i) by forming a tube of a synthetic polymeric material; or ii) from a front transparent cover sheet and an opaque rear sheet.

8. 8-28. (canceled)

29. A footwear package according to claim 1, wherein the container is suitably provided with a hook or an opening by which it may be suspended from an appropriately shaped display rack.

30. A footwear package according to claim 29, wherein the hook or opening is: iii) formed in the closure means; or iv) formed in a tab which is secured to the closure means.

31. A footwear package according to claim 1, wherein the closure means: i) is of card and is printed with various kinds of information; or ii) bears a separate adhesive label carrying various kinds of information.

32. A footwear package according to claim 31, wherein the information is in the form of or includes a barcode containing information for stock control and pricing purposes.

33. A footwear package according to claim 1, wherein the closure means is: i) a sheet of card folded to embrace the mouth of the container and stapled in place; or ii) formed by two polymeric components which are adapted to snap fit together and which are shaped to form a handle.

34. A footwear package according to claim 33, wherein one of the components is secured by fusion or adhesive bonding to each lip of the mouth of the container.

35. A footwear package according to claim 1, wherein the closure means comprises a foldable member comprising a pair of flaps defining at least one channel for receiving lips of a mouth of the bag or like container, an adjunct strip foldably connected to a first such flap so that the other flap may be folded inside the adjunct strip with such other flap and the folded lips of the bag trapped between the first flap and the adjunct strip, said first flap and said adjunct strip being provided with co-operating integral formations for securing the closure in closed condition.

36. A footwear package according to claim 35, wherein the adjunct strip has extension wings at each end which are foldable around the ends of the first flap and attachable thereto to hold the closure in closed condition.

37. A footwear package according to claim 36, wherein the extension wings are attachable to the first flap by means of co-operating tabs and slots.

38. A footwear package according to claim 37, wherein the tabs are provided on the extension wings or on the first flap, the co-operating slots, being provided on the other such member.

39. A footwear package according to claim 38, wherein when the tabs are provided; i) on the extension wings, the tabs point away from the end of the wings; or ii) on the first flap, they point towards the centre line of the container.

40. A footwear package according to claims 35, wherein hook or loop means is provided attached to or integral with the first flap for suspending the container from a display rack.

41. A footwear package according to claim 40, wherein the hook or loop is arranged to project across the adjunct strip until the closure is folded for use.

42. A footwear package according to claim. 35, wherein the closure is of M-section in that the first and second flaps are interconnected by a V section adapted to penetrate the mouth of the bag or like container so that lips of the mouth are sandwiched to either side of the V-section between the V-section and one or other of the flaps.

Description:

This invention relates to footwear packaging, that is to say packaging for boots, shoes, slippers, moccasins, pumps, mules, and like items.

Conventionally, footwear is delivered to retail outlets packed, by the pair, in boxes which are of a standard, uniform size. In most instances the shoes are stored in the boxes until they are sold on to a customer, at which point the boxes are discarded or given to the customer.

This traditional packaging format may be satisfactory for specialist shoe retailers, but it is not convenient for other retailers, for example high-street fashion retailers who do a substantial trade in shoes.

Fashion retailers tend to have a large front of store and small back of store area and have limited space in which to store bulky items such as shoe boxes. This is not the case with dedicated shoe retailers who tend to have a large back of store area and a relatively small front of store selling area. The style of selling in fashion retailers is also rather different from that of ordinary shoe shops and it relies on a retailer displaying all styles of shoe on display for self service purchasing by the customer. A further point is that any packaging may be taxable, and this being based upon the weight that goes through the retail supply chain system, and a certain percentage of all that packaging requires to be recovered and recycled. Shoe boxes are rather bulky and difficult to store whether full or empty. Furthermore, throughout the supply chain, from the factory to the retail outlet, shoe boxes are not cost-effective because of the large volume of empty space which each box contains in addition to the footwear.

Thus, conventional packaging has certain disadvantages. In particular since the boxes are of a standard uniform size a great deal of space is wasted which can lead to storage and transport problems. Secondly, such boxes do not readily lend themselves to a convenient display of the goods they contain at the point of sale.

It is an object of the present invention to provide footwear packaging which alleviates these disadvantages.

According to the present invention there is provided a footwear package comprising a flexible bag or bag-like container of which at least a front is light-transmitting, closure means for closing the container, and means for locating items of footwear within the container.

Such a package has a number of advantages. Because at least a front of the container transmits light, the container may be easily displayed and footwear within it can be inspected by a prospective purchaser. Because the container is flexible, it takes up very little more room than that occupied by the footwear enclosed.

Preferably, the closure means includes one or more formations by which the bag may be suspended from a display rack. This facilitates display at the point of sale of the footwear contained.

The footwear locating means may be constituted by a piece of card which may be folded as appropriate and which may carry various kinds of information, for example information such as a name and/or trademark indicating the origin of the goods, and/or information relating to the size of the footwear. In some preferred embodiments, such locating means is constituted as a dividing member adapted to run generally diagonally or laterally of the bag or like container to separate the individual items of footwear contained thereby.

The bag or like container may be formed as an integral piece, for example by forming a tube of a synthetic polymeric material such as polyethylene, polyvinyl chloride or polypropylene and cutting and sealing it at intervals to form the bags. In such a case the whole bag will be light-transmitting. In other embodiments the bag or like container is formed from a front transparent cover sheet, for example of polyvinyl chloride, viscose film such as Cellophaneâ„¢ or polypropylene, and an opaque rear sheet for example of paper.

The container may be suitably provided with a hook or an opening by which it may be suspended from an appropriately shaped display rack. Such hook or opening may be formed in the closure means as such, or in a tab which is secured to the closure means.

The closure means may be of card, and may be printed with various kinds of information, or it may bear a separate adhesive label carrying such information. The information may be in the form of or include a barcode containing information for stock control and pricing purposes.

The closure means of the container may take various forms. In one embodiment, such closure means is simply a sheet of card folded to embrace the mouth of the container and stapled in place. In another embodiment, the closure means is formed by two polymeric components which are adapted to snap fit together and which are shaped to form a handle. One such component may be secured by fusion or adhesive bonding to each lip of the mouth of the container.

In other preferred embodiments of the invention, a closure comprises a foldable member comprising a pair of flaps defining at least one channel for receiving lips of a mouth of the bag or like container, an adjunct strip foldably connected to a first such flap so that the other flap may be folded inside the adjunct strip with such other flap and the folded lips of the bag trapped between the first flap and the adjunct strip, said first flap and said adjunct strip being provided with co-operating integral formations for securing the closure in closed condition.

Such a closure may be neat and secure and it enables the use of staples to be avoided. Staples can present a hazard to the unwary when opening a package secured by them. Such a closure also avoids the necessity of forming two complementary plastics mouldings for forming a handle. Also, the difficulty in separating materials for subsequent recycling is avoided.

Preferably, such adjunct strip has extension wings at each end which are foldable around the ends of the first flap and attachable thereto to hold the closure in closed condition.

Such extension wings are preferably attachable to the first flap by means of co-operating tabs and slots. Such tabs may be provided on the extension wings or on the first flap, the co-operating slots, of course, being provided on the other such member. When the tabs are provided on the extension wings, it is preferred that such tabs point away from the end of such wings. When the tabs are provided on the first flap, they preferably point towards the centre line of the container.

In preferred embodiments of such a closure, hook or loop means is provided attached to or integral with the first flap for suspending the container from a display rack. Such a hook or loop may be arranged to project across the adjunct strip until the closure is folded for use.

Advantageously, the closure is of M-section in that the first and second flaps are interconnected by a V-section adapted to penetrate the mouth of the bag or like container so that lips of the mouth are sandwiched to either side of the V-section between the V-section and one or other of the flaps

The invention extends to a said package containing footwear.

Preferred embodiments of the invention will now be described, by way of example only, and with reference to the accompanying diagrammatic drawings in which:

FIGS. 1 to 5 show different stages in the closing of a footwear container in accordance with the invention using one preferred form of closure;

FIG. 6 illustrates that closure in flat form;

FIG. 7 shows an embodiment of a footwear container using a second form of closure and a first form of locating means;

FIG. 8 illustrates a second form of locating means prior to insertion into a container, and

FIG. 9 illustrates a further form of closure.

Referring now to FIGS. 1 to 6, a closure 1 for a bag 2 or like container having a mouth 3 with flexible lips 4 has a pair of flaps 5, 6 which are foldable to define at least one channel 7 for receiving the lips 4 of the mouth 3 of the bag, and an adjunct strip 8 at a fold-line 9.

In the illustrated embodiment, the first and second flaps 5, 6 are joined by intermediate strips 10, 11 so that those flaps and strips can be folded together in zig-zag manner to form an M-section. The strips 10, 11 thus form a V-section with a channel 7 to each side of it. If the V-section is inserted into the mouth 3 of the container, the lips 4 of that mouth will enter one into each channel 7, as shown in FIG. 1. These strips and flaps are then held together, as shown in FIG. 2, and folded down against the adjunct strip 8 so that the second flap 6 is folded inside the adjunct strip 8 with that flap and the intervening strips 10, 11 and the folded lips 4 of the bag trapped between the first flap 5 and the adjunct strip 8, as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4. FIG. 4 also illustrates how any protruding corners of the bag may at this stage be tucked into the closure.

The adjunct strip 8 is provided with extension wings 12 at each end, and each of these is provided with a tab 13 which can be inserted in an opening 14 in the fist flap 5 when the flaps and strips of the closure are concertinaed and folded together and the extension wings 12 are folded around the end of the closure to hold it fastened.

A base 15 of a hook 16 is attached to the inner face of the first strip 5 so that the hook projects through a slot 17 along the fold-line 9 and overlies the adjunct strip 8 until the closure is folded about the fold line 9 when it will stand proud of the closure and can be used to hang the closed bag from a display rack.

FIG. 7 illustrates a shoe container having a different form of closure. In FIG. 7 one of a pair of shoes 20 is masked by a shoe locating device 21 formed of card folded to form a trapezoidal, rectangular-section tube into which the masked shoe is inserted. The two shoes and the locating device are inserted into a flexible bag or like container 22 and this is closed by a closure 23 which in this instance is simply a piece of card folded in two and held together by staples (not shown).

The shoe locating device 21 may be constituted as an open-ended tube. It may be a sheet of card folded two, three or four times to enclose the hidden shoe just on three sides, or even folded once to form a front and a separator portion keeping the two shoes apart. The exposed front of the locating device may appropriately be printed with sales promotion material.

It will be appreciated that any other suitable method of securing the closure in the closed condition may be used if desired. In particular, a closure as shown in FIGS. 1 to 6 may be used.

A shoe 20 and the shoe locating device 21 are visible through a light transmitting (preferably transparent) front panel of the container 22. A slot 42 is provided in the closure for hanging the container from a display rack.

FIG. 8 illustrates an alternative form of locating device 25, which may be used for packaging boots assembled head-to-toe. This locating device comprises a backing sheet 26 having end flaps 27 which may be folded up against soles 28 of a pair of boots 29. A retaining hoop 30 is provided to hold the boots 29 against the backing sheet 26. The assembly shown in FIG. 8 may be bagged and the bag closed as otherwise described.

FIG. 9 illustrates a further form of bag closure which may be adopted.

In FIG. 9, one of a pair of members forming a bag closure is illustrated and it comprises a strip 31 which may be sealed to a bag or like container 32 by welding or adhesive. The strip 31 is formed with a loop 33 which may serve either to support the container from a display stand, or as a carry handle. A hole 34 and a stud 35 are provided for co-operating with a stud and a hole respectively of a second such member forming a closure.

Since the bag is flexible, it is easily collapsed, and accordingly significant space savings may be achieved. Advantageously, the footwear package of the present invention weighs significantly less than a corresponding size of shoe box and significant savings result in packaging waste recovery costs.