Title:
Modular display rack
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A modular display system has a support base and a vertical post mounted on the support base. The post is formed with threaded bores. A plurality of bars, including short spacer bars for hanging display bins and hang bars for hanging clothes hangers, for example, are screwed into the post and they project radially from the post. Each of the bars has two threaded stems, one to screwed into the post, and the other one to be covered by a threaded puck. The display bins have corresponding bores aligned with the bores in the post and adapted to receive the threaded stems of the short spacer bars to reach through and for the puck to bolt the display bins to the spacer bars.



Inventors:
Campello, Guido (Miami, FL, US)
Campello, Ugo (Miami, FL, US)
Application Number:
11/000617
Publication Date:
10/13/2005
Filing Date:
01/18/2005
Assignee:
Luemme, Inc.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47F5/02; A47F5/025; A47F5/04; A47F5/05; A47F5/08; A47F7/24; (IPC1-7): A47F5/08
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
KRAMER, JAMES A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LERNER GREENBERG STEMER LLP (HOLLYWOOD, FL, US)
Claims:
1. A modular display system, comprising: a support base; a post mounted on and extending substantially vertically from said support base; said post having a plurality of attachment locations defined thereon; a plurality of bars including a relatively long hang bar and a relatively short spacer bar each formed for attachment at a respective one of said attachment locations and radially projecting therefrom; and at least one bin to be mounted to said post via one of said bars.

2. The modular display system according to claim 1, wherein said post is formed with a threaded bore at each of said attachment location and each of said bars having a threaded stem formed thereon for screwing into a respective said threaded bore of said post.

3. The modular display system according to claim 1, wherein said post is rotatably and substantially centrally mounted on said support base.

4. The modular display system according to claim 1, wherein said attachment locations are defined vertically below one another along a plurality of lines substantially parallel to an axis of said post.

5. The modular display system according to claim 1, which further comprises a plurality of roller supports on a bottom of said support base.

6. The modular display system according to claim 2, wherein said spacer bars include a relatively longer, first spacer bar and a relatively shorter, second spacer bar, and said bin is mounted to said post via a plurality of vertically aligned said first or second spacer bars, and said threaded bores are formed in said post at a spacing corresponding to a spacing between bores formed in said at least one bin.

7. The modular display system according to claim 6, wherein said bin has a given width with a value substantially equal to a sum of a diameter of said post plus two times a length of said first spacer bar.

8. The modular display system according to claim 1, wherein said bin is a multilevel bin formed with at least two floors for supporting merchandise or advertising material thereon.

9. The modular display system according to claim 1, wherein said bin is formed with an inclined backwall and an inclined floor, for enabling printed matter and packaged product to be stacked in a nearly vertical, slightly inclined position.

10. The modular display system according to claim 1, wherein each of said bars has a first threaded stem formed on a first longitudinal end thereof configured for screwing into a respective threaded bore formed in said post, and a second threaded stem formed on a second longitudinal end thereof configured for receiving thereon a threaded nut.

11. The modular display system according to claim 10, wherein said threaded nut is a threaded puck, defined with a disk body having a threaded blind bore formed therein.

12. A modular display system, comprising: a support base; a vertical post mounted on said support base and having a plurality of threaded bores formed therein; a plurality of threaded bars selected from the group consisting of a relatively long hang bar, a relatively shorter, first spacer bar, and a relatively shortest, second spacer bar, each of said threaded bars having a first threaded portion configured for selectively screwing into said threaded bores of said post, and a second threaded portion; at least one bin to be mounted to said post via one of said threaded bars; and a plurality of threaded pucks configured to be screwed onto said second threaded portion.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims the benefit, under 35 U.S.C. § 119(e), of U.S. provisional application No. 60/551,686, filed Mar. 9, 2004.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Field of the Invention

The invention lies in the field of display systems. More specifically, the invention pertains to a merchandise display device, especially a modular display rack for displaying items of various kinds and sizes.

Instore merchandise displays as well as exhibition display systems are generally geared to a singular functionality. Wall racks and freestanding racks for printed materials come in a variety of layouts, with single shelf displays, multiple shelf displays, multiple bins, and the like. Similarly, fabric displays and clothing displays are also available in a variety of systems. The latter typically include hanger displays, such as hooks and hang bars with associated clothes hangers or display spreaders.

The prior art is void of mixed display systems and, in particular, of easily configurable modular systems that allow quick and easy adaptation to a variety of display requirements.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is accordingly an object of the invention to provide a modular display rack, which overcomes the above-mentioned disadvantages of the heretofore-known devices and methods of this general type and which provides for a mixed display system formed for easy user configurability. It is a specific object to provide a modular system that allows quick and easy user adaptation to any of a variety of display requirements and that allows easy adaptability to display print material and fabric clothing material.

With the foregoing and other objects in view there is provided, in accordance with the invention, a modular display system, comprising:

    • a support base;
    • a post mounted on and extending substantially vertically from the support base;
    • the post having a plurality of attachment locations (e.g., with threaded bores) defined thereon;
    • a plurality of bars (e.g., with threaded stems) including a relatively long hang bar and a relatively short spacer bar each formed for attachment at the respective attachment locations of the post and radially projecting therefrom; and
    • at least one bin to be mounted to the post via one of the bars.

In accordance with an added feature of the invention, the post is rotatably and substantially centrally mounted on the support base. In a preferred embodiment, furthermore, the support base is supported on a plurality of rollers. This allows the display to be easily moved between locations at the point of sale location.

In accordance with an additional feature of the invention, the threaded bores are formed vertically below one another along a plurality of lines substantially parallel to an axis of the post.

In accordance with another feature of the invention, the spacer bars include a relatively longer, first spacer bar and a relatively shorter, second spacer bar, and the bin is mounted to the post via a plurality of vertically aligned the first or second spacer bars. The threaded bores are formed in the post at a spacing distance corresponding to a spacing distance between bores formed in the at least one bin.

In accordance with a particularly preferred embodiment, the bin has a given width with a value substantially equal to a sum of a diameter of said post plus two times a length of the first spacer bar.

In accordance with again an added feature of the invention, the bin is a multilevel bin formed with at least two floors for supporting merchandise or advertising material thereon. Preferably, the bin is formed with an inclined backwall and an inclined floor, for enabling printed matter and packaged product to be stacked in a nearly vertical, slightly inclined position.

In accordance with a further feature of the invention, each of the bars (the hang bars and the spacer bars) has a first threaded stem formed on a first longitudinal end thereof configured for screwing into the threaded bore in the post, and a second threaded stem formed on a second longitudinal end thereof configured for receiving thereon a threaded nut.

In a preferred embodiment of the invention, the threaded nut is a threaded puck. The puck has a disk body with a threaded blind bore formed therein.

With the above and other objects in view there is also provided, in accordance with the invention, a modular display system, comprising:

    • a support base and a vertical post mounted on the support base, the post having a plurality of threaded bores formed therein;
    • a plurality of threaded bars selected from the group consisting of a relatively long hang bar, a relatively shorter, first spacer bar, and a relatively shortest, second spacer bar, each of the threaded bars having a first threaded portion configured for selectively screwing into the threaded bores of the post, and a second threaded portion;
    • at least one bin to be mounted to the post via one of the threaded bars; and
    • a plurality of threaded pucks configured to be screwed onto the second threaded portion.

The modular display rack may have multi-level bins or trays or hanging bars in order to provide the potential for holding large amount of products. The modular display rack can be mounted to a spinning central post supported by a rollable base. Two display racks may be connected together to create a long display rack, which could include shelves as an accessory

The novel system combines the functionality and the aesthetics to provide an eye-catching display and selling station for the products. The prior art void concerning mixed display systems has thus been filled, by providing the easily configurable modular system that allows quick and easy adaptation to a variety of display requirements. Furthermore, and quite importantly, the system can be very easily set up and converted in a vast variety of configurations without any tools. Quick conversion is possible by sales staff directly at the point of sale without a substantial amount of training.

Other features that are considered as characteristic for the invention are set forth in the appended claims.

Although the invention is illustrated and described herein as embodied in a modular display rack, it is, nevertheless, not intended to be limited to the details shown because various modifications and structural changes may be made therein without departing from the spirit of the invention and within the scope and range of equivalents of the claims.

The construction and method of operation of the invention, however, together with additional objects and advantages thereof, will be best understood from the following description of specific embodiments when read in connection with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a front, top perspective view of the modular display rack according to the invention, in a first exemplary configuration with two sets of bins or trays and two sets of hang bars;

FIG. 2 is a front elevational view of the first configuration of the modular display rack, which is identical to the rear side view thereof;

FIG. 3 is a side view of the first configuration of the modular display rack;

FIG. 4 is a top view of the first configuration of the modular display rack;

FIG. 5 is a bottom view of the base of the modular display rack with the vertical post;

FIG. 6 is a diagrammatic exploded view of a second exemplary configuration of the modular display rack according to the invention having three bin sets and one hang bar set;

FIG. 7 is a front, top perspective view of the second exemplary configuration of the modular display rack according to the invention;

FIG. 8 is a front, top perspective view of a third exemplary configuration of the modular display rack with four sets of bins or trays;

FIG. 9 is a front, top perspective view of a fourth exemplary configuration of the modular display rack having three bin sets and one mixed bin and hang bar set;

FIG. 10 is a top view of the modular display rack in the third exemplary configuration;

FIG. 11 is a side view of the first (relatively longer) spacer bar, of the second (relatively shorter) spacer bar, and of a puck;

FIG. 12 is a partial exploded view of the third configuration of the modular display rack, illustrating an exemplary assembly process;

FIGS. 13A and 13B are top perspective views of a two-level bin or tray; and

FIGS. 14A and 14B are top perspective views of a three-level bin or tray.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Referring now to the figures of the drawing in detail and first, particularly, to FIG. 6 thereof, there is seen an exploded perspective view of a modular display rack 100. The novel system, in summary, includes the following elements: a base 10 supported on several ball rollers, casters, or on stationary support feet. A column 20 or post 20 vertically supported on the base 10. The post 20 is formed with a plurality of strategically distributed threaded bores 22, 24 for receiving and mounting hang bars 30 or spacer bars 40. Bins 50 may be attached to the post 20 via the spacer bars 40 and attached with pucks 46. The latter will be described in detail in the following.

In a first configuration illustrated in FIG. 1, the modular display rack 100 includes the base 10, the central spinning post 20, two sets of hang bars 30, several sets of spacer bars 40 disposed on the central spinning post 20, and several sets of display bins or trays 50 connected to the central spinning post 20 through the spacer bars 40. The top of the post 20 is illustrated with an additional attachment device 23. In the illustration, it is simply a bore or recess 23 that allows the insertion of a display element 23a. One example of the element 23a illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3 is a registered trademark of Luemme, Inc. (d.b.a. Cosabella), of Miami, Fla.

With reference to FIGS. 2, 3, and 5, the base 10 has four rollers 12 attached at the bottom thereof. This allows the modular display rack to be easily moved to any desired place. The rollers 12 are, for example, ball-bearing system rollers 12 or casters. If movability is not desired, the rollers or casters 12 may be replaced by rubber ball supports or rubber boots to be placed over the otherwise available rollers 12. In this way, the base 10, and with it the entire modular display 100, may be rendered stationary. It will also be understood that any number of supports may be provided, i.e., three or five, or more, depending on the desired support strength and balance safety.

The base 10 can have a rectangular (e.g., square) shape or a round shape. The central post 20 is connected to the center of the base 10 in such a manner that the post 20 can spin freely, for example, on a ball-bearing system. This allows the customers to spin the modular display rack 360 degrees, accessing all merchandise from one standing position. It will be understood to those of skill in the pertinent art that the spinning of the system may also be motorized, for example if the display rack 100 is placed within a viewing enclosure or behind a viewing window.

Once more with reference to FIG. 6, each of the hang bars 30 has a threaded portion 32, 34 at each end thereof. Each of the spacer bars 40 has a threaded portion 42, 44 at each end thereof. The central post or column 20 has a plurality of threaded bores 22 formed therein for receiving the spacer bars 40 and a plurality of threaded bores 24 formed therein for receiving the hang bars 30. The threaded bores, besides being bored directly in the constituent post material of the post 20, may also be formed by welded-on nuts that have the threaded bore. One threaded portion 42 of each spacer bar 40 is screwed into one of the threaded bores 22 of the central post or column 20, allowing the spacer bar 40 to extend horizontally from the central post or column 20. The other threaded portion 44 of each spacer bar 40, which is not used to screw into the post 20, is used to keep the bins or trays 50 in place by locking the bin 50 between the spacer bar 40 and a puck 46 screwed onto the part of the threaded portion 44 that extends beyond the bin 50. Pucks 46 are commercially available, for instance, from B&N Industries, California. One threaded portion 32 of each hang bar 30 is screwed into one of the threaded bores 24 of the central post 20, allowing the hang bar 30 to extend horizontally from the central post or column 20. The other threaded portion 34 of each hang bar 30 is capped by a puck 36 screwed onto the threaded portion 34 of the hang bar 30. The puck 36 that screws onto the end of each hang bar 30 has a slightly larger diameter than the hang bar 30. In this case, hangers that are hung on the hang bar 30 are prevented from sliding off the hang bar 30.

The bins 50 illustrated herein are substantially rectangular boxes with a flat backwall, and two flat sidewalls. Three compartments are provided, each with slightly inclined floors. The inclination is provided for the purpose of displaying printed matter and packaged product. Some of the printed matter and packaged product items 51 are illustrated in FIG. 3 and they are, by way of example, window packages for undergarments as described in our commonly assigned U.S. Design Pat. U.S. D450,578 S. In this vein it should be noted that the display bins are primarily suited for displaying the window packages, while the hang bars are primarily suited for hanging the actual merchandise, i.e., floor samples, larger displays, posters, hang magazines, product lists, and the like.

FIGS. 7-9 illustrate modified configurations of the modular display rack according to the invention. The corresponding elements in these illustrations are designated with the same reference numerals as above.

FIG. 7 illustrates a second exemplary configuration with three sets of bins 50 and one vertical line of hang bars 30.

FIG. 8 illustrates a third exemplary configuration of the modular display rack, which has four sets of bins or trays 50 and no hang bars. Two sets of the bins or trays 50 are connected to the central post 20 by two sets of short spacer bars 40. The other two sets of the bins or trays 50 are connected to the central post 20 by two sets of long spacer bars 40′. In this way, the space can be more efficiently utilized. As the threads on the hang bars 30, the short spacers 40 and the long spacers 40′ are identical, they can be freely exchanged. It goes without saying that the threaded bores on the post 20 also have equal threads.

A fourth exemplary configuration—a configuration in which most of the available display space is required for stand-up merchandise or print material—is illustrated in FIG. 9. This configuration has three bin sets and a mixed bin and hang bar set. Here, there are provided only one hang bar 30 and a multitude of bins 50. It will be understood that the bins 50 may be varied widely as well. That is, some may be three-level bins, some may be two-level bins, and some may provide for open space that allows “tall” literature or merchandise to be placed.

With reference to FIGS. 10 and 11, the post 20 has a given diameter D. A width W of the bins 50 exceeds the diameter D by two times a length L1 of the first spacer bar 40′. That is, W=D+2L1. A considerable amount of space savings, and at the same time of compactness, is achieved with the difference in the lengths L1 and L2. Here, W>D+2L2 and, as a result, the bins that are mounted with the second spacer bars 40 are clamped by the bins that are mounted on the post with the first spacer bars 40′. Further rigidity is thus provided to the modular display. It is clear that this situation also applies if—as is the case in a preferred configuration—the bins surround the post only three-ways and one side is provided with one or more hang bars 30.

As illustrated in FIG. 11, the threaded stems of the spacer bars 40 and 40′ are no longer than a depth of the threaded bore in the pucks 46. A diameter of the puck 46 is the same as the diameter of the spacer bars 40 and 40′. However, a diameter of the puck 36 for the hang bar 30 is slightly greater than a diameter of the hang bar 30 to prevent items hung on the hang bar 30 from falling off (see e.g., FIG. 2).

The display bins or trays 50 are made of plastic, such as Lucite or polycarbonate, or the like. The display bins or trays 50 can be of two-level (FIG. 13) or three-level (FIG. 14) for displaying items of different sizes in the same outlined space in regards to height, width, and length. This allows for equal mixing and matching of bins or trays that hold differently sized display products. The two-level bin is configured to display taller merchandise, while the three-level bin is configured to display smaller merchandise. The rear face 52 of the bin 50 has two circular holes 54 cut through it at a distance aligned with the vertical distance between the spacer bars 40, 40′ screwed onto the post 20. When the bin 50 is placed correctly, the threads of the spacer bars 40, 40′ will reach through these pre-cut holes 54 and allow for enough thread to screw on the puck 46, locking the bin 50 in place.

Each level of the bins or trays 50 may have an inclined back piece 56 for providing support to the items placed in the level and a bottom piece 58. The inclined back piece 56 extends from the rear face 52 of the bin 50 at the top of the level to the bottom piece 58 of the level (see FIG. 14) or extends from the rear face 52 at a location between the top of the level and the bottom piece 58 of the level to the bottom piece 58 of the level (see FIG. 13). The bottom piece 58 of the level is formed with a cutout 59 to allow the seller to fix the packaged products by pulling at the bottom of the packaging from the back, thus the tops of all the packaging fall backward and rest in the ideal display position. The cutout 59 may be formed only in the bottom piece 58 of the level (not shown) or may extend into the back piece 56 (see FIGS. 13-14).

The hang bars 30 and the spacer bars 40 typically have different diameters. However, the threaded portions 32, 34, 42, 44 of the hang bars 30 and the spacer bars 40, 40′ have an equal diameter. Thus, a set of hang bars 30 can be replaced by a set of spacer bars 40, 40′ or vice versa. In this way, the modular display rack can be provided with one to four sets of bins or trays 50 or one to four sets of hang bars or any combination thereof.

The central post or column 20, the hang bars 30, and the spacer bars 40, 40′ can be made of any solid material, but preferably aluminum. The base 10 may also be made of any solid material, but preferably aluminum or hard, heavy plastic.

The modular display rack as shown in the figures is a stand-alone display. It measures approximately 57″ in height, by 19″ in width, by 19″ in length when fully assembled in set-up position.

Other embodiments of the invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art from consideration of the specification and practice of the invention disclosed herein. It is intended that the specification and examples be considered as exemplary only.