Title:
Point of purchase display case
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A case for displaying articles includes an elongate transparent tube for viewing articles located therein. The interior of the tube is a lumen into which is placed a plurality of articles. Articles that are compressible can be compressed to fit into the tube and then expand against the walls of the tube to be held fast therein. A channel is imparted into the tube, lengthwise, to allow access to articles placed in the lumen. The tube is made from a transparent semi-rigid plastic, such as butyrate. A pair of end caps are attached to each of the opposite ends of the tube, one of the end caps allowing access into the lumen of the tube for purposes of loading the tube with articles. The case can be attached to a store shelf or other retail display.



Inventors:
Bluestein, David J. (Sacramento, CA, US)
Drake, Anthony G. (Sacramento, CA, US)
Application Number:
10/347097
Publication Date:
07/15/2004
Filing Date:
01/15/2003
Assignee:
BLUESTEIN DAVID J.
DRAKE ANTHONY G.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47F1/04; A47F5/00; (IPC1-7): B65D23/12
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Primary Examiner:
NOVOSAD, JENNIFER ELEANORE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
John P Costello (Sacramento, CA, US)
Claims:
1. A case for displaying articles, comprising: an elongate tube having a lumen and first and second ends; a channel imparted lengthwise in said elongate tube, said channel communicating with said lumen; a first closed end cap coupled upon said first end of said tube; and a second end cap coupled upon said second end of said tube, said second end cap having means for accessing said lumen.

2. The case of claim 1, wherein said tube is see-through.

3. The case of claim 1, wherein said channel further comprises rounded edges.

4. The case of claim 1, wherein said tube is comprised of a semi-rigid plastic.

5. The case of claim 4, wherein said semi-rigid plastic is butyrate.

6. The case of claim 1, further comprising attachment means for attaching said display case to retail store shelves.

7. A display case for displaying articles, comprising: an elongate tube having a lumen and first and second ends; a channel imparted lengthwise is said elongate tube; and means for accessing said lumen from either said first or second ends.

8. The case of claim 7, wherein said tube is see-through.

9. The case of claim 7, wherein said channel further comprises rounded edges.

10. The case of claim 7, wherein said tube is comprised of a semi-rigid plastic.

11. The case of claim 10, wherein said semi-rigid plastic is butyrate.

12. The case of claim 7, further comprising attachment means for attaching said display case to retail store shelves.

13. A case for displaying articles, comprising: An elongate tube having a lumen and first and second ends; A channel imparted lengthwise in said elongate tube, said channel communicating with said lumen; A first closed end cap permanently affixed upon said first end of said tube; and A second closed end cap permanently affixed upon said second end of said tube.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] This invention pertains generally to methods and apparatus for displaying articles for sale in a retail environment and more specifically relates to a point of purchase display case for displaying articles for sale.

[0003] 2. Background

[0004] In the retail sales environment it is important to have attractive display cases for holding articles for sale. Additionally a display case must be functional and allow the consumer easy access to the article for sale.

[0005] Some current display cases are designed to allow the consumer access to a variety of articles. For example, mesh bath sponges having a variety of colors can be divided in the display case by color. Current designs have display cases comprised of a plurality of side by side compartments, each compartment containing a different color of article for example. This type of display case is called a “point of purchase display case.” Many point of purchase displays have a plurality of vertical, rectangular-shaped, compartments arranged in parallel fashion. The compartments allow articles to be separated by color, size or shape, for example. The articles are loaded into the display case from the top and the walls of the case are made of see-through acrylic to allow the articles to be easily viewed by the consumer. This type of display case allows the consumer to have a wide selection of articles, but the side by side arrangement of the compartments is bulky and tends to take up an inordinate amount of retail space.

[0006] Another popular style of case for retail articles is that distributed by Jean Charles, Inc. of Thermal, Calif. and represents another type of “point of purchase display” that is comprised of an elongate tube having an opening at the top for loading retail articles, and an opening at the bottom for removing articles. This style of display case is very compact and takes up less shelf space than other point of purchase displays having side by side compartments, however, while this style of display case is very compact, it does not allow the consumer to select from a variety of articles, as the consumer has to take whatever article presents itself at the lower opening. The other articles above the opening remain inaccessible to the consumer.

[0007] Accordingly, a need exists for a display case which is space efficient yet allows for a variety of articles to be individually selected by a consumer.

[0008] The foregoing discussion reflects the state of the art which the inventor is aware, and is tendered with a view toward discharging the inventor's acknowledged duty of candor in disclosing information which may be pertinent with regards to the patentability of the present invention. It is respectfully stipulated, however, that the disclosed information does not teach or render obvious, singly or when considered in combination, the inventor's claimed invention.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0009] This invention relates to an inventive display case which allows a consumer to see a variety of articles located inside the display case and to select any one of the variety of articles. In the preferred embodiment, the display case is comprised of an elongate round plastic tube having a channel cut down the length of the tube for allowing an article being offered for sale to be pulled through the channel from the confines of the display case. The edges of the channel are rounded to prevent cuts from occurring from reaching into the case to remove an article. In one embodiment, the tube has closed ends that are affixed thereto. In another embodiment the tube has at least one open end to allow the case to be loaded with articles.

[0010] As such the following objects and advantages are sought to be achieved by the inventive display case:

[0011] An object of the invention is to provide a display case which is compact, see-through and allows for any one of a variety of articles to be selected.

[0012] Another object of the invention is to provide a display case which can be easily loaded with a variety of articles for point of purchase sale.

[0013] A still further object is to provide a display case which can be easily mounted on retail store shelving or displays.

[0014] Further objects and advantages of the invention will be brought out in the following portions of the specification, wherein the detailed description is for the purpose of fully disclosing preferred embodiments of the invention, without placing limitations thereon.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0015] The invention will be more fully understood by reference to the following drawings which are for illustrative purposes only:

[0016] FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of the inventive display case.

[0017] FIG. 2 is a close up perspective view of an end cap.

[0018] FIG. 3 is a cross sectional view of the inventive display case taken through line 3-3 of FIG. 1.

[0019] FIG. 4 is a rear perspective view of the inventive display case.

[0020] FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the inventive display case shown loaded with a plurality of colored mesh bath sponges and fastened to a retail display shelf.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0021] Referring more specifically to the drawings, for illustrative purposes, the present preferred embodiment of the inventive display case 10 is shown generally, in FIG. 1. The display case is comprised of an elongate tube 12 having a first end 14 and a second end 16 and a channel 18 extending lengthwise along the tube 12. The tube shown in the drawings is round in cross section, but the tube may have any number of shapes. Round tubes are especially good for compressible articles that tend to expand because the expansion against the round inner walls of the tube creates a frictional engagement that holds the articles in the tube. Other shapes, such as triangular or square, might have utility for holding retail articles having triangular or square character.

[0022] The tube is preferably see-through as this allows a consumer to best view the articles located in the tube. The see through material which comprises the tube portion of the display case can be any semi-rigid plastic such as butyrate or a soft acrylic compound. However, the tube can be made from a non-see through material also, such as cardboard, and the consumer can gain visual acquisition of the article through the lengthwise channel.

[0023] Further, the ends of the tube can be merely closed off, or open, with end caps or without end caps. If end caps are employed they can be loosely coupled, (such as with a frictional coupling), permanently affixed, closed or open. As shown in the FIG. 1, the end cap can be open 20 or closed 22. End caps 20, 22 can also add a visually attractive appearance to the tube. For example, the end caps can be molded in various fluorescent-colored plastics to attract the attention of consumers.

[0024] As more closely illustrated in FIG. 2, one of the end caps 20 can include an opening 24 to allow access to the interior lumen 26 of the display case for purposes of allowing the display case 10 to be loaded with articles. The opening 24 in end cap 20 is preferably of less diameter than the full diameter of end cap so that a retaining lip 28 is created. The retaining lip 28 prevents articles from falling out of the end of tube.

[0025] FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view of the tube 12 which illustrates the channel 18, which renders the tube shown into an approximate “C” shape. The edges 30 of the channel 18 are rounded or beaded to prevent scratches or cuts from occurring upon reaching into the lumen 26 of the tube 12 to remove an article.

[0026] Referring now to FIG. 4, the rear of the inventive display case 10 has a fastening system comprised of holes 32 perforating the wall of the tube 12, the holes 32 being located at opposite ends 14, 16 of the tube. The holes 32 are adapted to have a cable fastener 34 threaded there through to allow the opposite ends 14, 16 of the tube 12 to be fastened to a shelf or display in a retail store.

[0027] FIG. 5 shows the inventive display case 10 fastened to a shelf 36 and loaded with a number of compressible mesh bath sponge articles 38. The display case 10 is attached to the shelf 36 so as to have the open top available for easy loading of the display case 10. The mesh sponges 38 compress upon loading and expand to frictionally engage the inner wall of the tube 12, filling up the lumen 26. The various mesh sponges 38 shown can be of different colors, for example, which can be accessed through the channel 18 located in the display case 10, and removed from the lumen 26 of the tube.

[0028] Accordingly, the inventive display case described herein offers greater access to a variety of articles for the consumer, while offering the features of compactness and easy attachment. By providing ready access to a variety of articles, the inventive display case helps increase the number of sales of the article being displayed. The display case is perfect for attaching to store shelves or near a check out area where impulse buys of articles often occur.

[0029] Finally, although the description above contains many specificities, these should not be construed as limiting the scope of the invention but as merely providing illustrations of some of the presently preferred embodiments of this invention. This invention may be altered and rearranged in numerous ways by one skilled in the art without departing from the coverage of the appended claims.