Title:
Adjustable shelf system
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A shelf system comprises first and second side members, a hinge and a shelf. The side members have front and rear portions. The rear portions are hingedly connected to each other or a third panel by at least one hinge having a hinge axis. The shelf is expandable and extends between the first and second side members. The shelf is adapted to laterally expand when the first side member is rotated about the hinge axis away from the second side member. A method of using the shelf system is also disclosed.



Inventors:
Gilles, Dennis (Deforest, WI, US)
Little, Matthew (Lodi, WI, US)
Application Number:
11/378836
Publication Date:
12/21/2006
Filing Date:
03/17/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47F5/08
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
RODDEN, JOSHUA E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DLA PIPER LLP (US) (Reston, VA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed:

1. A shelf system comprising: first and second side members having a front and rear portions, the rear portions hingedly connected to each other by a hinge having a hinge axis; at least one expandable shelf extending between the first and second side members and adapted to laterally expand when the first side member is rotated about the hinge axis away from the second side member.

2. The shelf system according to claim 1, the shelf comprising first and second shelf members; wherein the first shelf member is adapted to substantially overlap the second shelf member when the shelf system is in a closed position.

3. The shelf system according to claim 1, further comprising a support member extending between the first and second side members and adapted to support the shelf; wherein the support member is longitudinally expandable and contractible, such that the support member is fixedly attached to the first and second side members below the shelf, with the shelf at least partially resting on the support member.

4. The shelf system according to claim 1, further comprising an expandable front panel extending between the first and second side members perpendicular to the shelf.

5. The shelf system according to claim 1, wherein the hinge axis is generally perpendicular to a surface that supports the shelf system.

6. The shelf system according to claim 1, wherein the first and second side members move in a plane that is generally parallel to a surface that supports the shelf system.

7. A method of erecting a shelf system comprising the steps of: providing an irregularly-shaped floor space; constructing an adjustable shelf system comprising right and a left side members connected by a hinge, at least right and left shelf portions which are substantially the same size, and at least one support member; and adjusting the display stand to fit substantially into the irregularly-shaped floor space by rotating the left and right side members relative to each other about the hinge.

8. The method according to claim 7, wherein the shelf system is constructed by hingedly connecting the right and a left side members along rear portions thereof, such that the right and left side members can move relative to each other in a plane which is substantially parallel to the floor.

9. The method according to claim 7, wherein the left shelf portion is connected to the inside of the left side member, and the right shelf portion is connected to the inside of the right member, so that the shelf portions slide across each other when the left and right side members are moved relative to each other.

10. A kit for erecting an adjustable shelf system, comprising: first and second prefabricated side members having a front and rear portions, the rear portions capable of being hingedly connected to each other by a hinge having a hinge axis; at least one prefabricated expandable shelf extending between the first and second prefabricated side members and adapted to laterally expand when the first side member is rotated about the hinge axis away from the second side member; and optionally instructions for erecting the adjustable shelf system.

11. A shelf system comprising: first and second side members having a front and rear portions, the rear portions of the first and second side members attached to first and second hinges respectively; at least one panel spanning between the first and second hinges; and at least one expandable shelf extending between the first and second side members and adapted to laterally expand when the first and second side members is rotated about the first and second hinges away from each other.

12. The shelf system according to claim 11, the shelf comprising first and second shelf members; wherein the first shelf member is adapted to substantially overlap the second shelf member when the shelf system is in a closed position.

13. The shelf system according to claim 12, further comprising third shelf member disposed between the first and second shelf members.

14. The shelf system according to claim 13, wherein the third shelf member is attached to the at least one panel that spans between the first and second hinges.

15. The shelf system according to claim 11, wherein each of the first and second hinges have a hinge axis that is generally perpendicular to a surface that supports the shelf system and the first and second side members rotate about the first and second hinge axes respectively.

16. The shelf system according to claim 11, wherein the first and second side members move in a plane that is generally parallel to a surface that supports the shelf system.

Description:

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/692,216, filed Jun. 20, 2005, which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The field of the invention relates to adjustable product displays, and particularly to product displays adaptable to fit in a given floor space.

BACKGROUND

Shelves are used in many applications. In various cases, it is desirable to place a shelf, or a shelf system, against a wall or in a comer. Shelf systems have been developed to fit in many types of spaces. In some systems, such as that disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 1,455,569 to Caminoni, hinges have been used with a shelf system to facilitate the collapsing and expansion of a shelf system. The system of Caminoni is only expandable to a fixed width and is not adjustable to fit within a variety of spaces.

Retail shops such as delicatessens, bakeries and grocery stores generally have shelf systems for showing their wares to the public. Such cases are generally rectangular, and two adjoining cases might be set up in an angular fashion with respect to each other, rather than in a parallel side-to-side relationship. When two cases are arranged in an angular arrangement, a wedge-shaped floor space is formed between them. This wedge-shaped floor space is typically utilized to provide a display for other goods.

For example, where two refrigerated cases are arranged to provide a wedge-shaped space, a non-refrigerated wedge-shaped display can be erected between them. Such wedge-shaped displays have been used for years in delicatessen stores. However, each store and each location for these wedge-shaped displays is different. For example, the angular orientation of the adjacent refrigerated cases, and thus the angle formed by the wedge-shaped space between the adjacent refrigerated cases, can vary. The refrigerated cases are typically set up before the deli wedge displays without regard to the size or uniformity of the wedge-shaped area in between the cases. Thus, installers of the wedge-shaped displays must custom fit each display to fit in the particular floor space formed by the two cases. Previously known wedge-shaped shelf systems consisted of a flat pack of loose panels which were cut to fit a given wedge-shaped space in the store. This resulted in time consuming labor for the installer, who may be the store proprietor, and also produced waste material.

There are also instances where two walls, or other structures meet at obtuse angles, or define open corners. In such situations, it is often difficult to provide shelf systems that will flushly fit against the walls to maximize storage or display space.

What is needed, therefore, is a display cabinet which can be easily installed to fit into various non-uniform or irregularly-shaped spaces, such as wedge-shaped spaces, without cutting any of the pieces, and in which little or no waste material is generated during the installation. It would be desirable to have a custom shelf system that is adjustable to fit available space constraints and mount flushly against available backing surfaces, such as a wall or walls.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

An adjustable shelf system is provided which can be readily sized to fit a non-uniform or irregularly-shaped space. The shelf system can be sized without cutting any portion of the case, so little or no waste material is generated.

One aspect of the invention thus provides an adjustable shelf system comprising a right and a left vertical side member and at least one horizontal shelf disposed there between. The right and left vertical side members each have a top and bottom side, which are substantially parallel to the floor on which the display stand sits. The right and left vertical side members each have a front side and a rear side which are oriented substantially perpendicular to the floor and are flexibly connected along the rear sides, so that the first and second vertical side members can move relative to each other in a plane which is substantially parallel to the floor. The at least one horizontal shelf comprises at least a left shelf portion connected to the inside of the left vertical side member, and a right shelf portion connected to the inside of the right vertical side member, which right and left shelf portions are substantially the same size and are adapted to slide across or inside one another when the display stand is adjusted to fit a given floor space. At least one supporting member is disposed underneath and in supportive relation to the horizontal shelf.

A further aspect of the invention provides a method of erecting an adjustable shelf system, comprising the steps of providing an irregularly-shaped floor space, constructing an adjustable shelf system comprising right and a left vertical side members, at least a left and right shelf portions which are substantially the same size, and at least one support member, and adjusting the shelf system to fit substantially into the irregularly-shaped floor space. The shelf system is constructed by hingedly connecting the right and a left vertical side members along the rear sides, so that the first and second vertical side members can move relative to each other in a plane which is substantially parallel to the floor. The left shelf portion is connected to the inside of the left vertical side member, and the right shelf portion is connected to the inside of the right vertical side member, so that the shelf portions slide across one another when the left and right vertical side member are moved relative to each other. The left and right shelf portions together form a horizontal shelf. The shelf system is then adjusted to fit substantially within the irregularly-shaped floor space by moving the left and right vertical side members and placing the shelf system within the floor space. The at least one supporting member is placed underneath and in supportive relation to the horizontal shelf.

Another aspect of the invention provides a method of displaying goods by erecting an adjustable display stand in irregularly-shaped floor space according to the invention, and placing goods in the display stand.

A still further aspect of invention provides a kit for erecting an adjustable shelf system, comprising prefabricated right and a left vertical side members, at least left and right prefabricated shelf portions which are substantially the same size, at least one prefabricated support member, and optionally instructions for erecting the shelf system and adjusting the shelf system to fit substantially into an irregularly-shaped floor space.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a shelf system according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the shelf system of FIG. 1 in an open position.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of an alternative embodiment of a shelf system according to the present invention.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a hinge according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 5 is an exploded cross-sectional view of the hinge of FIG. 4, in combination with side panels of a shelf system according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view of a hinge, in combination with a side panel of a shelf system according to an alternative embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 7 is a top plan view of a hinge assembly according to an alternative embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 8 is a top plan view of a hinge assembly according to an alternative embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of a shelf according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 10 is a front elevational view of the shelf of FIG. 9.

FIG. 11 is a side elevational view of the shelf of FIG. 9.

FIG. 12 is a top plan view of the shelf of FIG. 9.

FIG. 13 is a perspective view of a shelf according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 14 is a front elevational view of the shelf of FIG. 13

FIG. 15 is a side elevational view of the shelf of FIG. 13.

FIG. 16 is a top plan view of the shelf of FIG. 13.

FIG. 17 is a perspective view of a brace according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 18 is a close up view of a portion of the brace shown in FIG. 17.

FIG. 19 is a perspective view of a base panel according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 20 is a side elevational view of the panel of FIG. 19.

FIG. 21 is a front elevational view of the panel of FIG. 19.

FIG. 22 is a top plan view of the panel of FIG. 19.

FIG. 23 is a top plan view of a second base panel according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 24 is a top plan view of a shelf system according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 25 is a perspective view of the shelf system of FIG. 24.

FIG. 26 is a front elevational view of the shelf system of FIG. 24.

FIG. 27 is a cross-sectional view of the shelf system of FIG. 26 taken along the line 27-27.

FIG. 28 is a side elevational view of the shelf system of FIG. 24.

FIG. 29 is a further side elevational view of the shelf system of FIG. 24.

FIG. 30 is a cross-sectional view of the shelf system of FIG. 27 taken along the line 30-30.

FIG. 31 is a perspective view of a shelf system according to an embodiment of the present invention, shown in an open position.

FIG. 32 is a perspective view of the shelf system of FIG. 31, shown in a closed position.

FIG. 33 is a perspective view of a shelf system according to an alternative embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 34 is a perspective view of the shelf system of FIG. 33, shown in an open position.

FIG. 35 is an exploded view of the shelf system of FIG. 33.

FIG. 36 is a top plan view of an alternative embodiment of a shelf system, shown in a closed position.

FIG. 37 is a top plan view of the shelf system of FIG. 36, shown in an open position.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS AND PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

In the drawings, where like reference numerals indicate like elements throughout, there is shown an embodiment of a shelf system 10 for use in commercial, industrial or residential applications. The shelf system 10 is angularly expandable such that it may be disposed flush against walls or other objects having corners of various angles. As will be described in more detail below the shelf system 10 can be expanded from a closed position to an open position.

Referring generally to FIGS. 1-5 and 8-31, one embodiment of the shelf system 10 is constructed of right and left side members 12, 14 joined by a hinge 16. At least one, and preferably more than one, shelf 20 extends between the side members. Each shelf comprises a right and left shelf member 22, 24. The shelf system 10 may also include a brace 26 for the shelf and a front base panel 28, adapted to span between the side members 12, 14. Like the shelf 20, the base panel 28 comprises right and left base members 32, 34.

Right and left side members 12, 14 each have a front portion 12a, 14a and a rear portion 12b, 14b. The rear portions 12b, 14b of the side members are preferably connected to each other in a hinged connection to facilitate the movement of the front portions 12a, 14a closer to and away from each other through rotation about the hinge 16. The side members 12, 14 are preferably adapted to rest on the floor or some other supporting surface. Alternatively, there may be supports such as legs, casters or any other fixture suitable to facilitate contact of the shelf system with the supporting surface (not shown) disposed on the side members 12, 14. The right and left side members 12, 14 are generally mirror images of each other and have bottom portions 12c, 14c adapted to engage or rest on the supporting surface and top portions 12d, 14d that define the top of the shelf system. While the figures show shelf systems 10 that have side members 12, 14 which are generally solid panels, the side members 12, 14 can have various constructions without departing from the scope of the present invention. By way of example, the side members 12, 14 may have apertures 15 extending through the panels, be constructed of a lattice structure or simply be frames with support members located proximate to the hinge 16, supporting surface and shelf 20. Further, side members 12, 14 having a variety of profiles may be used instead of the one shown in FIGS. 1-3, which has a generally tapered upper portion. The side members 12, 14 may be constructed using various materials such as steel, aluminum or other metals, wood, plastic or any other material or combination of materials that is suitable for the construction of a generally rigid load bearing member.

The hinge 16 is attached to the rear portions of each side member. The hinge may be connected along the entire length of each rear portion, or at various points. As illustrated in FIGS. 4 and 5, in one embodiment, the hinge 16 may be made up of right and left T-portions 36, 46 joined by a flexible center member 30. Each T-shaped portion 36, 46 contains a backing member 38, 48 and an engagement extension 40, 50 extending generally perpendicularly from a respective backing member 38, 48. When the backing members 38, 48 are arranged in a co-planar fashion with the center member 30 disposed therebetween, it is preferable that the engagement extensions 40, 50 are generally parallel to each other. A hinge axis extends through the center member, generally perpendicular to the supporting surface. During operation, the side members rotate about the hinge axis. The engagement extensions 40, 50 preferably have a series of barbs 42, 52 or other protrusions extending therefrom to facilitate engagement with the side members 12, 14.

Hinge slots 44, 54 extend inwardly through the rear portions 12b, 14b of the side members 12, 14. It is preferable that the hinge slots 44, 54 are generally parallel to the outer surfaces of the side members 12, 14. The hinge slots 44, 54 are sized to frictionally accommodate the engagement extension 40, 50 therein such that the barbs 42, 52 resist the removal of the extensions 40, 50 from the slots 44, 54 once they are inserted.

An alternative embodiment of a hinge 116 is shown in FIG. 6. The hinge 116 is adapted to fit into a side panel 114 having a rear portion 114b with a generally S-shaped cross sectional profile. The hinge 116 has a generally flexible center portion 130 disposed between two lateral stepped members 132, 134. Preferably, portions of the stepped members 132, 134 closer to the central member 130 have a narrow profile and outer step portions 136, 138 have a thick profile when compared to the central member 130. The rear portion 114b includes a C-shaped shaped hinge cavity 118, sized to substantially encircle the outer step portions 138 for operational engagement therewith. A second side panel (not shown) is preferably a mirror image of the side panel 114 and adapted to engage the outer step portion 136. Preferably, the hinge provides for rotation of the side panels about an axis disposed proximate the central member 130.

A further alternative embodiment of a hinge assembly 216 is shown in FIG. 7. The hinge assembly 216 is constructed by joining rear portions 212b, 214b of side members 212 and 214. Each of the rear portions 212b, 214b comprises a C-shaped hinge member 220, 222. The member 220 is mounted in line with the rear portion 212b, to provide for a smooth transition between the two. This engagement gives the general profile of a fish hook, with an elongated shaft and a curved bottom portion. The member 222 is mounted perpendicularly to the rear portion 214b, such that the member 222 faces in a generally opposite direction to the member 220. The C-shaped members 220, 222 engage each other in a locking relationship that permits a range of angular movement of the side members 212, 214.

FIG. 8 shows another alternative embodiment of a hinge 316. The hinge assembly 316 is similar to the hinge 116 shown in FIG. 6. The hinge 316 is adapted to fit into a side panel 314 having a rear panel 314b that is generally flat and an S-shaped retaining member 318 fixedly attached thereto. The hinge 316 has a generally flexible center portion 330 disposed between two lateral stepped members 332, 334. Preferably, portions of the stepped members 332, 334 closer to the central member 330 have a narrow profile and outer step portions 336, 338 have a thick profile when compared to the central member 330. The rear panel and the retaining member 318 preferably form a cavity 320 sized and adapted to retain the outer step portion 338 therein. Also like the hinge 116, the hinge 316 is adapted to be fit into another side member (not shown) which is a mirror image of the side member 314. The retaining member 318 may be attached to the rear panel 314b by welding, a threaded connection such as a bolt, rivets or any other suitable means.

Although the above hinge embodiments 16, 116, 216, 316 have been discussed, those skilled in the art will recognize that many various hinge embodiments may be used without departing from the scope of the invention. By way of example, a series of hinges having loops extending from each side member 12, 14 and joined by a pin. There may be a series of these hinges disposed along the height of the side members 12, 14 or, there may be a continuous series of alternating loops. Alternatively, in the case where the side members 12, 14 are constructed using a flexible material, the hinge may simply be a weakened portion that extends perpendicular to the supporting surface. These and other hinge embodiments may be used within the scope of the present invention.

The shelf 20 is preferably adapted to expand in a fan-like manner with the movement of the side members 112, 114 such that the shelf 20 spans the space between the side members 112, 114 regardless of their positioning. In such an arrangement, the right shelf member 24 overlaps the left shelf member 22.

The right shelf member 24, shown in detail in FIGS. 8-11, has a generally wedge shaped top surface, with a pointed rear portion 24b and a generally arcuate front portion 24a. A mounting flange 66 extends downwardly from the right side 24c of the right shelf member 24. The mounting flange 66 is adapted to be mounted on the right side member 14 through the use of screws, bolts, clips or other known fasteners.

The left shelf member 22 is generally a mirror image of the right shelf member 24, and together they form the shelf 20. In use, the right shelf member 24 slides over the left shelf member 22 during expansion and contraction of the shelf system 10. The left shelf member 22, shown in detail in FIGS. 12-15, has a generally wedge shaped top surface, with a pointed rear portion 22b and a generally arcuate front portion 22a. A mounting flange extends 64 downwardly from the left side 22c of the left shelf 22. The mounting flange 64 is adapted to be mounted on the left side member 12 through the use of screws, bolts, clips or other known fasteners.

The shelf 20 is preferably sized to fill the depth of the shelf system 10, which is generally the distance between the front sections 12a, 14a of the side members 12, 14 to the rear sections 12b, 14b. There may be shelves 20 of varying depths within one shelf system 10, such as those shown in FIGS. 1-3. Regardless of the depth of each shelf 20, it is preferable that the arcuate right and left front portions 22a, 24a of each shelf 20 share a common radius to present a homogenous front edge 20a of the shelf 20.

Although two overlapping shelf portions 22, 24 are disclosed here, the shelf system may have many various shelf configurations without departing from the scope of the present invention. By way of example, the shelf system may have telescoping shelf portions that fit inside each other when the shelf system is in a closed position and are in an expanded state when the shelf system is in an open position.

Additional support for the shelf 20 is preferably provided by the brace 26. The brace 26 is preferably expandable to span between the right side member 14 and the left side member 12 below the shelf 20. The shelf 20 then rests on the brace 26, and may be fixedly attached to the brace 26. In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 16 and 17, the brace 26 is constructed using metal strips 70, 72 bent along its longitudinal axis at a 90° angle. At least one of the strips 70, 72 has an adjustment slot 76 extending longitudinally along a portion of its length. If both strips do not have an adjustment slot 76, then one may have a bolt hole, tab or like mechanism to facilitate adjustably locking the brace strips 70, 72 together at a desired length. The strips are retained together using a bolt 74. Although a bolt is shown here, those skilled in the art will recognize that any number of retaining devices may be used without departing from the scope of the present invention.

Alternatively, there may be support members (not shown) extending from the hinge or other portions of the side panels 12, 14 at various angles to support the shelf 20. A first end of these support members preferably engages one of the side members 12, 14 or hinge 16 below the shelf and extends upwardly and towards the front of the shelf system 10. A second end of the support member engages the bottom side of the shelf 20, thereby providing support to the shelf 20. In addition, while expandable support members are described, support members that are cut to length on site may also be used with the shelf system 10.

Below the bottom-most shelf 20, the base panel 28 covers the space between the side members 12, 14 and the shelf 20 and the supporting surface. Like the shelf 20, the base panel 28 is made up of right and left member panels 80, 82 that overlap to form a substantially continuous front surface. Preferably, mounting tabs 84, 86 extend from each of the member panels 80, 82 on the side of the panels that engages the side members 12, 14. The mounting tabs 84, 86 preferably contain holes, tabs or other mechanisms to facilitate their mounting to the side panels 12, 14. It is also preferable that the base panels have arched tabs 85 at their top and bottom edges. In use, the tabs 85 of one panel fit inside of the tabs of the other to secure the first panel 80 substantially flush to the second panel 82. The base panel 28 may also provide support to the shelf 20 that it is disposed immediately below, in a manner similar to the way the brace 26 functions.

FIGS. 30 and 31 show the shelf system 10 in an assembled state. FIG. 30 shows an exemplary width of the shelf system in an “open” position, marked on the supporting surface by the arrows O. FIG. 31 shows the shelf system 10 in a “closed” position, wherein the space occupied by the shelf system is smaller than that of the open position. The arrows C on the supporting surface indicate the width of the shelf system 10, relative to the width of the shelf system 10 in the open position. While the angle between the side members 12, 14 is less than 180° in FIG. 30 and less than 90° in FIG. 31, its is contemplated that the shelf system is expandable to angles of 180° between the side members 12, 14, such that the shelf system could be mounted substantially flushly against a wall. Further, the shelf system may expand to have 270° between the side members 12, 14 so that the shelf system may be disposed about an outside comer, such as to be disposed about a portion of a square pillar. These and other angles of the shelf system are contemplated without departing from the scope of the present invention. Some preferable acute angles for the shelf system 10 to operate within may range from 30° to 55°, for example 45°.

FIGS. 33 to 35 show a shelf system 410 having six shelves 420 and a top cover portion 450. The shelves 420 are similar in their construction to the shelves 20 and have right and left shelf members 422, 424. The shelves 420 also attach to right and left side members 412, 414 and are supported by a support brace 426 in a similar fashion as the shelves 20. The shelf system 410 has top and bottom face panels 440, 428 which function similar to base panel 28 described above. The side panels 412, 414 are joined together, and rotatable about a hinge 416, which is similar to the hinge 16.

An alternative embodiment of a shelf system 510 is shown in FIGS. 36 and 37. The shelf system 510 has side members 512, 514, a rear panel 513 and hinges 516, 517 joining the side members 512, 514 to the rear panel 513. Shelf members 522, 524 function with a central shelf portion 523 to form a shelf 520. The shelf system 510 is collapsible, about the central shelf portion 523. In a collapsed state, the shelf system 510 may have a generally rectangular footprint, as opposed to the generally triangular or fan shaped footprint of the shelf system 20. In an open state, the shelf system 510 had a generally fan shaped footprint, with the exception of a flattened rear portion defined by the rear panel 513. The shelf 520, and hinges 516, 517 function in a similar manner to the shelf 20 and hinges 16, 116, 216 and 316 described above. The shelf system may also have front base panels, top panels and support member (not shown).

There may also be ornamental displays used in connection with the shelf system 10. Such displays may include signage, advertising and other indicia. There may also be a front cover disposed about the open end of the shelf system 10. Such a cover may be beneficial in instances where the shelf system is used to display baked goods or other food products contained in open containers.

The adjustable display stand of the invention comprises various pieces which can be provided already assembled, or as some or all of the component parts which are assembled by the user. If the adjustable display stand is provided as some or all of the component parts, these parts are preferably provided in the form of a kit which optionally contains instructions for assembly and use of the stand.

For example, the side panels can be prefabricated, including the predrilled holes and the hinge slots. The plastic T-hinge can be further connected at the point of origin. Similarly, the top and bottom shelves and base panel can be prefabricated, including predrilled screw holes. The expandable support member can also be prefabricated.

The prefabricated unit can be shipped to a retail outlet or point of use. To erect the display stand, the installer opens the side panels already connected by one or more hinges (or installs the hinge(s) to the side panels). The side panels are opened flat on a work surface. The installer installs the left and right top and bottom shelves using fasteners and the predrilled holes. Similarly, the left and right toe panels are connected using the predrilled holes and fasteners. Thereafter, the unit is raised and oriented in an upright and opened configuration. The side panels are moved towards one another while aligning the toe panels and shelves. The display unit is adjusted for the desired angular orientation of the side panels and the telescopic bracket is secured to the corresponding length.

A variety of modifications to the embodiments described will be apparent to those skilled in the art from the disclosure provided herein. Thus, the invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from the spirit or essential attributes thereof and, accordingly, reference should be made to the appended claims, rather than to the foregoing specification, as indicating the scope of the invention.