Title:
RETAIL STORE SHELVING STRUCTURE
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A retail store shelving structure adapted to be positioned between a first aisle and a second aisle comprises vertical support elements. At least one horizontal shelf is supported on the vertical support elements. A first retail product display volume is located between the vertical support elements for displaying a first retail product. The first retail product display volume is accessible from the first aisle and the second aisle. A second retail product display volume is located between the vertical support elements for displaying a second retail product. The second retail product display volume is accessible from only one of the first aisle and the second aisle.



Inventors:
Vulpitta, Brian A. (Avon Lake, OH, US)
Application Number:
12/567403
Publication Date:
04/01/2010
Filing Date:
09/25/2009
Assignee:
SHURTECH BRANDS, LLC (Avon, OH, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47F5/00
View Patent Images:
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20050194334Hair accessory holderSeptember, 2005Johnson
20080185355Pillar insertion combination rack systemAugust, 2008Huang
20080264882Urn Made of Glass MaterialOctober, 2008Sviberg-krahner
20080135509CLOSET STORAGE SYSTEM, KIT OF PARTS, AND INSTALLATION METHODJune, 2008Jackson
20100051569RACK MOUNT DEVICEMarch, 2010Oura
20100052486COMPUTERIZED FLEX WORKSTATION, TRAY, CABINET AND CARTMarch, 2010Hemmer
20080087617Cake tier separator for layered cakesApril, 2008Harris



Primary Examiner:
BARNETT, DEVIN K
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
FAY SHARPE / SHURTECH (1228 Euclid Avenue, 5th Floor The Halle Building, Cleveland, OH, 44115, US)
Claims:
1. A retail store shelving structure adapted to be positioned between a first aisle and a second aisle comprising: vertical support elements; at least one horizontal shelf supported on the vertical support elements; a first retail product display volume located between the vertical support elements for displaying a first retail product, the first retail product display volume being accessible from the first aisle and the second aisle; and a second retail product display volume located between the vertical support elements for displaying a second retail product, the second retail product display volume being accessible from only one of the first aisle and the second aisle.

2. The retail shelving structure of claim 1, wherein the first retail product display volume is substantially unobstructed between the first aisle and the second aisle allowing the first retail product to be removable from the first retail product display volume from the first aisle and the second aisle.

3. The retail shelving structure of claim 1, wherein the first retail product display volume is modular and includes at least one divider for separating the first retail product display volume into retail product sub-volumes, each sub-volume being accessible from the first aisle and the second aisle.

4. The retail shelving structure of claim 1, further comprising a third retail product display volume located between the vertical support elements for displaying a third retail product, the third retail product display volume being accessible from the first aisle and the second aisle.

5. The retail shelving structure of claim 4, wherein the third retail product display volume is substantially unobstructed between the first aisle and the second aisle allowing the third retail product to be removable from the third retail product display volume from the first aisle and the second aisle.

6. The retail shelving structure of claim 4, further including a partition for separating the first retail display product volume from the third retail display product volume.

7. The retail shelving structure of claim 4, wherein the first retail product display volume has a height which is about half a height of retail store shelving structure and the third retail product display volume has a height less than the height of the first retail product display volume.

8. The retail shelving structure of claim 4, wherein the second retail product display volume is located above both the first retail display product volume and the third retail display product volume.

9. A method of displaying consumer products between a first aisle and a second aisle comprising: positioning a retail shelving store structure between the first aisle and the second aisle, the retail shelving store structure including a first retail product display volume and a second retail product display volume; displaying a first retail product in the first retail product display volume; displaying a second retail product in the second retail product display volume; providing substantially unobstructed access to the first retail product from both the first aisle and the second aisle; and providing access to the second retail product from only one of the first aisle and the second aisle.

10. The method of claim 9, further comprising selectively compartmentalizing one of the first retail product display volume and the second retail product display volume.

11. The method of claim 9, further comprising providing a third retail product display volume on the retail shelving store structure, displaying a third retail product in the third retail product display volume, and providing substantially unobstructed access to the third retail product from both the first aisle and the second aisle.

12. The method of claim 11, further comprising positioning the second retail product display volume above at least one of the first retail product display volume and the third retail product display volume.

13. The method of claim 11, further comprising separating the first retail product display volume from the third retail product display volume via a partition.

14. The method of claim 11, further comprising displaying a fourth retail product on a first end of the retail shelving store structure.

15. The method of claim 14, further comprising displaying fifth retail product on a second end of the retail shelving store structure.

16. The method of claim 14, further comprising abutting a second end of the retail shelving store structure to an end of an associated second retail store shelving structure.

17. A retail store shelving structure adapted to be positioned between a first aisle and a second aisle comprising: a base; first and second vertical end walls connected to the base, one of the first and second vertical end walls supporting a retail product display structure; a transverse support element extending at least partially between the first and second end walls; a first retail product display volume at least partially defined by the base and one of the first and second vertical end walls, the first retail product volume being accessible from the first aisle and the second aisle and being substantially unobstructed between the first aisle and the second aisle; and a second retail product display volume at least partially defined by the base, one of the first and second vertical end walls and the transverse support element, the second retail product display volume being accessible from only the first aisle or the second aisle.

18. The retail shelving structure of claim 17, further comprising a third retail product display volume at least partially defined by the base and one of the first and second vertical end walls, the third retail product volume being accessible from the first aisle and the second aisle and being substantially unobstructed between the first aisle and the second aisle, the third retail product display volume being separated from the first retail product display volume by a vertically extending partition.

19. The retail shelving structure of claim 18, wherein each vertical end wall is generally perpendicular to the first and second aisles and the transverse support element is generally parallel to the first and second aisles.

20. The retail shelving structure of claim 17, wherein the other of the first and second vertical end walls is configured to directly abut an associated second retail store shelving structure.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

The present application claims priority from U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 61/100,301 filed 26 Sep. 2008, which provisional patent application is expressly incorporated herein by reference, in its entirety.

BACKGROUND

Exemplary embodiments herein relate to shelving structures used in retail stores. More particularly, the present application relates to shelving structures adapted to be placed between two aisles in a retail store for displaying various sized retail products to consumers.

Many retail stores have become large, complicated places. These large retails stores display a large number of retail products for sale to consumers and are adapted to consumers finding, selecting and physically taking products to a checkout counter for purchase. Many large retail stores are configured as groups of parallel aisles with adjacent aisles separated by product displays. The product displays are often on “gondolas” which consist of large racks having a central wall and shelves on both sides of the central wall displaying products at various heights. Some products are displayed on shelves. Some products are displayed on pins extending from peg boards on the central wall. This permits a consumer to walk down an aisle with a cart and examine products presented to the consumer. Gondolas are to the left and to the right as the consumer shops. In many situations, this is an efficient method of presenting many retail products to the consumer in a visually appealing way.

End cap displays are also sometimes used in retail stores. An end cap is a presentation of retail products on a wall at the end of a gondola between two adjacent aisles. End caps can consist of a bin containing bulk products, and/or can consist of stacked products and/or can consist of pins and pegs holding products and supported on the end wall of the gondola. Other configurations of end caps are also available. The configurations described above are often seen in portions of general merchandise stores and also in portions of supermarkets.

One area in which the above-described product display structures are used is for mailing, packaging and moving products. Some stores will display envelopes, labeling products, packaging materials, wrapping materials, some tape products, disassembled boxes and other mailing, packaging and moving products in a single aisle on one side on the shelves of a gondola. Many gondolas support shelves are two feet deep on one side and two feet deep on the other side. For most products this is sufficient depth. For instance, tape products can be displayed this way as can labels. A box (as a product, not a container), even a box longer than two feet, can be stood on its edge with its largest dimensions vertically disposed. However, this may take up several shelves and therefore occupy a large area of the gondola. This also limits the number of product types and the number of units within a product type that can be displayed and presented for sale.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION

In accordance with one aspect, a retail store shelving structure adapted to be positioned between a first aisle and a second aisle comprises vertical support elements. At least one horizontal shelf is supported on the vertical support elements. A first retail product display volume is located between the vertical support elements for displaying a first retail product. The first retail product display volume is accessible from the first aisle and the second aisle. A second retail product display volume is located between the vertical support elements for displaying a second retail product. The second retail product display volume is accessible from only one of the first aisle and the second aisle.

In accordance with another aspect, a method of displaying consumer products between a first aisle and a second aisle is provided. A retail shelving store structure is positioned between the first aisle and the second aisle. The retail shelving store structure includes a first retail product display volume and a second retail product display volume. A first retail product is displayed in the first retail product display volume. A second retail product is displayed in the second retail product display volume. Substantially unobstructed access is provided to the first retail product from both the first aisle and the second aisle while access to the second retail product is provided from only one of the first aisle and the second aisle.

In accordance with yet another aspect, a retail store shelving structure adapted to be positioned between a first aisle and a second aisle comprises a base and first and second vertical end walls connected to the base. One of the first and second vertical end walls supports a retail product display structure. A transverse support element extends at least partially between the first and second end walls. A first retail product display volume is at least partially defined by the base and one of the first and second vertical end walls. The first retail product volume is accessible from the first aisle and the second aisle and is substantially unobstructed between the first aisle and the second aisle. A second retail product display volume is at least partially defined by the base, one of the first and second vertical end walls and the transverse support element. The second retail product display volume is accessible from only the first aisle or the second aisle.

In accordance with still yet another aspect, a retail store shelving structure adapted to be positioned between a first aisle and a second aisle has vertical support elements which support horizontal shelves and define two types of display volumes. A first display volume type is accessible from both the first aisle and the second aisle, that is, allowing the positioning of products and access to products completely through the gondola. A second retail product display volume is accessible from only the first aisle or only the second aisle. The second retail product display volume is bounded on one side by a generally vertical element parallel to the aisles separating adjacent product volumes so that they are accessible from only one aisle or the other. The retail store shelving structure has a vertical end wall generally perpendicular to the two aisles and the end wall supports retail product display structures facing outwardly at the end of the two aisles.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a retail store shelving structure according to one aspect of the present disclosure, the retail store shelving structure having exemplary retail products stored thereon;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the retail store shelving structure of FIG. 1 with some of the exemplary retail products being removed;

FIG. 3 is a perspective of a retail store shelving structure according to another aspect of the present disclosure, the retail store shelving structure having exemplary retail products stored thereon; and

FIG. 4 is a top plan view of retail store including the retail store shelving structures of FIGS. 1 and 3.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

It should, of course, be understood that the description and drawings herein are merely illustrative and that various modifications and changes can be made in the structures disclosed without departing from the present disclosure. Referring now to the drawings, wherein like numerals refer to like parts throughout the several views, FIGS. 1 and 2 depict an exemplary first retail store shelving structure 10. The first retail store shelving structure 10 includes a base 12, a first vertical end wall 14 and a second vertical end wall 16 connected to the base, and a top 18. The vertical end walls 14, 16 may support the top 18 and can provide structure to the entire first retail store shelving structure 10. Alternatively, an internal frame can provide the structure for the first retail store shelving structure 10 and supports the vertical walls 14, 16 and top 18. For example, a transverse support element 20 can extend at least partially between the first and second end walls 14, 16. In a typical retail store environment (see FIG. 4), each vertical end wall 14, 16 is generally perpendicular to first and second aisles A, B. The transverse support element 20 is generally parallel to the first and second aisles.

As shown in FIG. 4, the first retail store shelving structure 10 is configured for “island” presentation. An island presentation is created by isolating the first store shelving structure 10 from adjacent store shelving structures thereby opening the vertical end walls 14, 16 for the presentation of additional retail products in an end cap fashion. In the depicted exemplary embodiment of the first retail store shelving structure 10, the vertical end walls 14, 16 are presented with racks allowing the placement of smaller retail products, such as, for example, rolls of packaging material including wrapping paper 22 and envelopes 24. Prepared labels 26 may also be presented.

As shown in FIG. 1, larger retail products are presented on aisle facing sides 28, 30 of the first retail store shelving structure 10. In the depicted exemplary embodiment, the larger retail products are large boxes 32 in a flat state. The large boxes 32 are presented in the lower region of the aisle facing side 28. The large boxes are frequently sold in the flat state for erection by the purchaser. This is because erected boxes are inconvenient to store on a shelving structure and transport by a customer. The large boxes 32 are displayed on edge with their large face perpendicular to the aisle facing side 28 and parallel to the vertical end walls 14, 16. This is possible because a first retail product display volume 34 in which the large boxes 32 are located penetrates the entire depth of the first retail store shelving structure 10. A height of the first retail product display volume 34 is about half a height of retail store shelving structure 10. As shown in FIG. 2, the first retail product display volume 34 is open and accessible to consumers on both the aisle facing sides 28, 30 of the first retail store shelving structure 10. Large boxes having one or two face dimensions in excess of about two feet can be displayed on edge thereby saving considerable presentation area on each aisle facing side. Thus, substantially unobstructed access is provided to the retail product from both the first aisle A and the second aisle B allowing the retail product to be removable from the first retail product display volume 34 from the first aisle and the second aisle (FIG. 4).

The large boxes 32 are accessible to the consumer and their approximate size is apparent from the edge facing the consumer. Thus, a presentation of these box products to consumers occupying a very small percentage of conventional presentations (flat side facing the aisle) is made possible. The first retail product display volume 34 can be selectively compartmentalized so that additional boxes of varying sizes can be stocked in a given aisle facing side. Consumers can be given more choices. Because of this, sales per linear foot of aisle facing can be increased. Retail efficiency is supported.

This is true not only for boxes but for other large retail products. Again, referring to FIG. 1, to the left of the boxes 32, large rolls of cushioning material 40, for example, can be presented on the base 12 in another retail product display volume 42. The retail product display volume 42 has a height less than the height of the retail product display volume 34. The large rolls of cushioning material, while not as long as the boxes 32, do consume an excessive amount of shelf frontage for the value of the product. Moreover, the rolls of cushioning material are deep. By displaying them in the retail product display volume 42, which is substantially unobstructed from one aisle facing side 28 of the first retail store shelving structure 10 to the other aisle facing side 30 of the retail store shelving product, increased volume and more efficiently usable volume is presented.

Known retail store shelving structures are about four feet in depth. In many prior art retail store shelving structures, a vertical wall extends down the center line of the store shelving structure thus creating product presentation areas of about two feet deep for each aisle facing side. For a roll of cushioning material 40 having a fourteen inch or greater diameter, only a single layer of product can be presented. In the exemplary retail store shelving structure 10, the vertical wall (for example, the transverse support element 20) at the center line does not extend the entire height of the retail store shelving structure. As shown in FIG. 2, an end of the transverse support element 20 is spaced from the base 12. Rolls of cushioning material 40 can be packed more tightly and nestled together to take advantage of the voids between adjacent items in a row resulting in increased numbers of units available per shelving aisle facing area. Directly above the large rolls of cushioning material 40, smaller retail products, such as, for example, smaller rolls of cushioning material 46, are presented to consumers on wire racks 48.

A vertical wall 50 parallel to the first vertical end wall 14 and the second vertical end wall 16 is positioned intermediate the first vertical end wall and the second vertical end wall. In the depicted embodiment, the vertical wall 50 is centrally positioned between the first and second vertical end walls 14, 16; although, this is not required. The vertical wall 50 can provide support, strength and stability to the first retail store shelving structure 10. The wire racks 48 are conveniently only about two feet deep. This presents a retail product display volume 52 different from the full depth retail product display volumes 34, 42. The wire racks 48 can be mounted between the second vertical wall 16 and the vertical wall 50. Alternatively, the wire racks can be mounted to the transverse support element 20. In this embodiment, the retail product display volume 52 can be at least partially defined by the base 12, one of the first and second vertical end walls 14, 16 and the transverse support element 20. The retail product display volume 52 is accessible from only the first aisle A or the second aisle B. Because the retail product display volume 52 is only about two feet deep, a second display volume displaying the same or different retail products in the same or different configurations can be mounted on the other aisle facing side of the first retail store shelving structure 10. Again, flexibility and retailing efficiency is supported.

In the depicted exemplary embodiment, an array of retail products, such as, for example, tape products 54, is displayed above the cushioning material 46. The tape products 54 are relatively small and can be advantageously displayed in a retail product display volume 56 which is only about two feet deep. Similar to the wire racks 48, the wire racks 58 upon which the tape products 54 are displayed are easily supported from the second vertical wall 16 and the central vertical wall 50. Alternatively, the wire racks may be mounted upon the transverse support element 20 of the retail store shelving structure 10. Further alternatively, a separate central wall segment may be mounted between the second vertical wall 16 and the vertical wall 50 parallel to the each aisle facing side 28, 30. Wire racks 58 may then be projected from this central wall.

Adjacent the array of tape products 54 and above the large boxes 32, other smaller retail packaging products, such as, for example, moving and mailing products 62 including wrapping film, smaller boxes and the like, are displayed. These products 62 are shown displayed on horizontal shelves, and in display boxes; although, this is not required. Because these products are smaller, the horizontal shelves and display boxes are mounted in a retail product display volume 64 which is only about two feet deep. This allows display of separate products in a display volume which is about two feet deep on the opposite aisle facing side of the retail store shelving structure 10.

In the island embodiment seen in FIG. 1, the outwardly facing surface of the first vertical end wall 14 is available for product display. Similarly, the outwardly facing surface of the second vertical end wall 16 is available for product display. Thus, the “facing area” is presented to the consumer.

The product display structures and volumes described above with respect to the exemplary first retail store shelving structure 10 are modular and modifiable by the retailer. Thus, the first retail product display volume 34 displaying larger boxes is shown as broken up into four sub-volumes by two vertical partitions 66, 68 and a shelf 72 between the vertical partitions 66, 68. Each sub-volume is accessible from the first aisle A and the second aisle B. This allows a neat, organized presentation of boxes and wrapping paper as seen. However, these partitions and shelves can be removed and replaced with other arrangements to support different products requiring a product display volume of about four foot deep. Additionally, the vertical partitions, 66, 68 and the shelf 72 can be removed and replaced with structures supporting display volumes separate from one another on each outwardly aisle facing side 28, 30 of the store shelving unit, each such volume being about two feet deep.

With reference to FIG. 3, an exemplary second retail store shelving structure 80 is depicted. Similar to the first retail store shelving structure 10, the second retail store shelving structure 80 comprises a base 82, a first vertical end wall 84, a second vertical end wall 86 and a top 88. However, the second vertical end wall 86 does not have any product display means on its outer surface. Rather, the outer surface of the second vertical end wall 86 is planar. As shown in FIG. 4, in a typical retail store environment, the second vertical end wall 86 would be directly abutting another second retail store shelving structure 80′ and a conventional shelving structure SH as a part of a longer aisle. In the exemplary second retail store shelving structure 80, the first vertical end wall 84 can be provided with a rack allowing product presentation in an end cap type array. Alternatively, the first vertical end wall 84 can be identical to the second vertical wall 86 allowing the second retail store shelving structure 80 to be placed in the middle of an array of store shelving structures facing two aisles but not having end caps.

Additionally, as depicted, the second retail store shelving structure 80 does not have a central vertical wall which extends between the end walls and the base and top. With such a configuration, retail product display volumes, which are about two feet deep and about four feet deep, are created by structures mounted on an internal structure of the shelving structure 80 and/or the vertical end walls 84, 86. Thus, a display volume 90 of about four feet deep for, for example, large boxes 92 penetrates through the entire depth of the store shelving structure 80 and is bounded by partitions 94, 96. An additional display volume 98 of about four feet deep for, for example, cushioning material 100 is provided between the partition 94 and the second vertical wall 86. Directly above the display volume 98, wire racks 102 can be provided to create a display volume 104 of about two feet deep for smaller products, such as smaller rolls of cushioning material 106. The display volume 104 may optionally have a wall at its rear or may not have a wall at its rear. Without a wall at its rear, the display volume is defined by the wire racks alone.

In the second retail store shelving structure 80, the entire top half can be made up display volumes 110 of about two feet deep presenting smaller products for sale on wire racks or horizontal shelving or the like. The opposite face of the second retail store shelving structure 80 may have similar or different two feet deep display volume as is desired by the retailer. The top 88 of the retail store shelving structure 80 has a vertically outwardly facing surface conveniently used for point of purchase promotional and explanatory materials.

A exemplary method of displaying consumer products between a first aisle A and a second aisle B of a retail store is provided. A retail shelving store structure 10, 80 is positioned between the first aisle A and the second aisle B. The retail shelving store structure includes a first retail product display volume 34, 90 and a second retail product display volume 52, 56, 64, 104. A first retail product 32, 92 is displayed in the first retail product display volume. A second retail product 46, 54, 62, 106 is displayed in the second retail product display volume. Substantially unobstructed access is provided to the first retail product from both the first aisle and the second aisle while access to the second retail product is provided from only one of the first aisle and the second aisle. One of the first retail product display volume and the second retail product display volume can be selectively compartmentalized.

The exemplary method further comprises providing a third retail product display volume 42, 98 on the retail shelving store structure. A third retail product 40, 100 is displayed in the third retail product display volume. Substantially unobstructed access is provided to the third retail product from both the first aisle and the second aisle. The second retail product display volume is positioned above at least one of the first retail product display volume and the third retail product display volume. The first retail product display volume is separated from the third retail product display volume via a partition 50, 94.

The exemplary method further comprises displaying a fourth retail product on a first end 14, 86 of the retail shelving store structure 10, 80 and displaying fifth retail product on a second end 16 of the retail shelving store structure 10. Alternatively, a second end 84 of the retail shelving store structure 80 abuts to an end of another second retail store shelving structure.

Aisle facing presentations in retail stores is an expensive commodity. Even in very large general merchandising stores, there is a limited amount of surfaces where one can present products to consumers. Retailers must use this valuable resource efficiently. The exemplary first and second retail storage shelving structures 10, 80 provide for increased efficiency in the use of shelf facing of an array of large and small related products in the retail environment. Heretofore, a two feet depth limitation limited the efficiency of mixed size product presentation and large size product presentation in the retail environment. As is evident from the foregoing, the present invention provides increased efficiency of presentation and flexibility of presentation thereby providing increased efficiency in use of shelf facing area and shelf volume. The exemplary first and second retail storage shelving structures 10, 80 efficiently display both large and small products having differing depths for sale at retail. The exemplary first and second retail storage shelving structures 10, 80 provide for adjacent single aisle facing product display volumes and for full depth (aisle to aisle) product display volume to accommodate larger or deeper products thereby providing increased shelving efficiency in the retail environment.

It will be appreciated that various of the above-disclosed and other features and functions, or alternatives thereof, may be desirably combined into many other different systems or applications. For example, it should be appreciated that the mailing and moving retail products depicted in the drawing were only examples of the various retail products that can be displayed on the retail storing shelving structures. Also that various presently unforeseen or unanticipated alternatives, modifications, variations or improvements therein may be subsequently made by those skilled in the art which are also intended to be encompassed by the following claims.