Title:
Interchangeable retail display system and method thereof
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An interchangeable retail display system comprising a base having a plurality of pucks for interchangeably receiving a plurality of support members, to which different kinds of display item supports can be interchangeably mounted, such that a myriad variety of displays can be achieved by combining different bases, with various assortments of support members and display item supports, in a multitude of arrangements and configurations.



Inventors:
Levi, Alain E. (Los Angeles, CA, US)
Reistetter, Thomas (Los Angeles, CA, US)
Gaidanez, Mayra (Los Angeles, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/351826
Publication Date:
08/09/2007
Filing Date:
02/09/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47F7/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MOONEY, MATTHEW B
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
TROJAN LAW OFFICES (BEVERLY HILLS, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An interchangeable retail display system comprising: a base, said base having a plurality of apertures therein; at least one support member having a first end for mounting to any one of said plurality of apertures in said base; said at least one support member having a second end projecting upwards from said base, said second end capable of securely engaging various display item supports; wherein said at least one support member is capable of interchangeable arrangement in said base.

2. The system of claim 1 wherein each said plurality of apertures has a threaded sleeve insert therein for receiving said at least one support member.

3. The system of claim 1 wherein said first end of said at least one support member having a threaded portion for engaging said threaded sleeve insert in each said plurality of apertures.

4. The system of claim 1 wherein said at least one support member further comprising: a first post part, said first post part having said first end for mounting to said threaded sleeve insert in each said plurality of apertures; a second post part concentric to said first post part, said second post part capable of telescoping with first post part.

5. The system of claim 1 wherein said at least one support member further comprising a plurality of telescoping parts, said telescoping parts capable of extending to variable lengths.

6. The system of claim 1 wherein said at least one support member further comprising a plurality of telescoping parts, said telescoping parts having a locking means for locking the telescoping parts in extended lengths.

7. The system of claim 1 wherein said at least one support member can be attached to at least one horizontal cross member.

8. The horizontal cross member of claim 7 wherein said horizontal cross member is adjustable.

9. The system of claim 1 wherein said at least one support member is connected to a saddle attachment means for connecting to said horizontal cross member.

10. The system of claim 1 wherein said support members can be connected by at least one horizontal cross member to form a frame display.

11. An interchangeable retail display system comprising: a base, said base having at least one aperture therein; at least one support member having a first end for mounting to said at least one aperture; said at least one support member having a second end projecting upwards from said base, said second end capable of securely engaging various display item supports; wherein said at least one support member is capable of interchangeable arrangement in said base.

12. A method for an interchangeable display of items comprising the steps of: mounting a plurality of sleeve inserts into a base; mounting a plurality of support members in said sleeve inserts, such that said support members are stably supported during normal use; mounting a plurality of display item supports on said support members; wherein said plurality of support members and said plurality of display item supports are capable of being combined in different arrangements and configurations.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates to an interchangeable retail display system and, more particularly, to a method and apparatus for the display of merchandise items having interchangeable arrangements and configurations.

2. Background of Related Art

It is well known in the apparel industry that the use of display stands to exhibit garments and related accessories are a key component of merchandising. In shop windows and show rooms, display stands, often featuring mannequins adorned in merchandise, invite the customer to indulge in the fantasy that is created by the display. Although mannequin display stands and the like have long been in use, such display stands suffer from a number of disadvantages.

One principal disadvantage is that the conventional display stand does not allow for a comprehensive exhibit of the merchandise. For example, in a conventional mannequin display, there are no related supplementary stands to display related accessories. It is a general rule of merchandising to feature a complete ensemble outfit, including the clothing article and all related accessories together in a harmonious presentation. However, this is typically not possible in a conventional display stand, such as a single standing mannequin, which is designed to exhibit only the clothing article. Other display stands are thus required to feature separately other items, such as shoes, hats, etc. As a consequence, to display the various related items often require that displays stands of unrelated shapes, sizes, and configurations be employed—one for shoes, another for scarves, yet another for watches, etc.—which often result in a haphazard display that detracts from the cohesive presentation of the ensemble outfit. In short, there is not a general display system in the known art that is designed to have a unified, but interchangeable, system of stands to feature comprehensively the litany of items in an ensemble outfit.

Another disadvantage of the kinds of conventional display stands in the art is that they invariably lack the capacity for variation in arrangement and configuration. Mannequin stands, for example, generally feature only one mannequin per stand. Thus to exhibit a number of garments, a number of different mannequin stands are required. And to exhibit a number of different accessories, a number of different accessory stands are required. Furthermore, to arrange and rearrange a conventional display, it is necessary to move each entire stand. For displays featuring a multitude of stands, the task of arrangement and rearrangement is all the more inefficient and inconvenient. In short, there is no unified display system in which a plurality of stands can be easily and efficiently arranged and configured as necessary accommodate different presentations.

Yet another disadvantage of the conventional display stands known in the art is that they are unstable. Mannequin stands, for example, are generally top-heavy, causing them to be unbalanced and unwieldy. Yet in conventional mannequin stands, the stand assembly generally consists of little more than a mannequin torso attached to a stanchion or post, which in turn is attached to a base plate. It has long been a recognized problem that such mannequin stands tend to tip easily, causing damage and injury. The inventors are aware of occasions when lawsuits were filed as a result of injuries sustained from mannequins tipping over. In more recent improvements, the mannequin is attached to a stanchion having an end that can be inserted into a hole in a base platform. However, this has not proved to be much more safe, as the stanchion in such assemblies can still slip out of the hole and allow the mannequin to fall over.

There have been a number of patents that have attempted to address such disadvantages separately, though none have provided a collective solution to the disparate problems described above. In U.S. Pat. No. 6,089,424 to Colquhoun, for one, it was recognized that conventional clothing mannequins did not provide adequate display for ensemble accessories. The patent to Colquhoun was thus directed to a mannequin stand having a tray base for holding accessories. Such a tray base, however, was little more than a container bin, lacking any specific display components to feature the different and particularized accessory items.

In U.S. Pat. No. 6,991,143 to Gillis, the patent is directed to a vertical frame member inserted into a pedestal having a hollow post with an opening for receiving the vertical frame member. This type of construction exemplifies the kinds of stand assembly in the art, in which the stand is easily susceptible to be detached from the pedestal. Such assemblies are known to be unstable and unsafe.

For the foregoing reasons, there is a need for an interchangeable retail display system capable of being easily and efficiently combined to create different arrangements and configurations.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide an interchangeable retail display system in which an entire ensemble outfit, including various accessories and the like, can be collectively shown in a unified display.

It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide an interchangeable retail display system in which various display items can be easily coordinated in different assembled arrangements and configurations.

It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide an interchangeable retail display system that is stable and safe, yet easy and efficient to disassemble for arrangement.

An interchangeable retail display system having the features of the present invention comprises a base having a plurality of pucks therein. A puck is a sleeve insert mounted in a hole in the base, for receiving a support member or stanchion to which a display item support is mounted. The stanchion has a first threaded end for assembling to the puck. Although the stanchion can be of any various shape, size or configuration, the first threaded end of any stanchion is uniformly standard to engage the threaded sleeve of the puck. In this way the stanchion can be connected to any of the plurality of pucks, thereby allowing interchangeability in arrangement.

When the first threaded end of the stanchion is assembled to a puck in the base, the second end of the stanchion projects upwards from the base to accommodate various display item supports. The various display item supports can also be of any different shape, size or configuration, so as to accommodate any particular display item. Examples of display supports are mannequin torsos, shoe shelves, jewelry holders, etc. The various kinds of stanchions can be combined with the various kinds of display item supports because the stanchions all have standard threaded ends that are uniformly capable of connecting with any of the various display supports, which have matching standard receivers for the stanchions. This allows the variety of display supports to be interchangeably combined with the variety of stanchions.

As such, it is contemplated a myriad of displays can be achieved by combining different bases, with an assortment of stanchions and display supports, to create a multitude of arrangements and configurations.

Although it is the preferred embodiment of the invention to have an array of pucks, stanchions, and display item supports of different varieties so as to achieve a maximal combination of arrangements and configurations, it is also within the contemplated scope of the present invention to have an interchangeable retail display system comprising a base having one puck. Even with only one puck, a multitude of different stanchions and display item supports can be interchangeably combined to create different arrangements with the one base. For instance, a mannequin display can be arranged for clothing or a shelf display can be arranged for shoes employing just one base, thereby making the system not only flexible but also cost efficient.

Another feature of the interchangeable retail display system of the present invention is that the support member, or stanchion, is further capable of telescoping to variable lengths. More particularly, in an embodiment of the invention the stanchion is comprised of a first post part, which has a first threaded end for engaging the threaded sleeve in the puck. The stanchion has a second post part concentric to the first post part, such that the second post part is capable of telescoping within first post part. In another embodiment of the invention, the stanchion is comprised of a plurality of telescoping post parts, such that the telescoping parts are capable of extending to variable lengths. The telescoping length of the stanchion is set by a locking means for locking the telescoping parts in any extended lengths.

These and other features, aspects, and advantages of the present invention will be better understood with reference to the following drawings, description and appended claims.

DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 2 shows an embodiment of the puck mounted to the base.

FIG. 3 shows an embodiment of the support member.

FIG. 4 shows another embodiment of the support member.

FIG. 5 shows a cross-section of an embodiment of the support member.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

FIG. 1 shows an embodiment of interchangeable retail display system 1 in accordance with the invention. The interchangeable retail display system 1 having the features of the present invention includes a base 10. Although in FIG. 1 the base 10 is shown as a rectangular platform, it is contemplated that the base 10 can be of any various shape, size or configuration, including tubing arranged in a geometric configuration, for example. Furthermore, it is also contemplated that the base 10 can be made of any material, such as wood, metal or plastic. The base 10 can further have stationary legs or wheels for mobility.

The base 10 usually has a plurality of pucks 20 therein, but at least one such puck 20. As shown in FIG. 2, a puck 20 is a threaded sleeve insert mounted to a hole 12 in base 10. Although any sleeve insert capable of securely engaging a support member to prevent movement of the support member during normal use would enable the invention to work for its intended purpose. In the preferred embodiment puck 20 is a custom machined insert, having a one-inch neck diameter and an 11/16 of an inch body length with a ⅜ of an inch threaded tap bore. The puck 20 is mounted to the base 10 by inserting puck 20 in hole 12, such that the neck of puck 20 rests on the top surface of base 10 as shown in FIG. 2. The puck 20 can also be mounted flush with base 10. The puck 20 is secured to base 10 by a washer and nut assembly that mounts to the bore of puck mount 20 from the underside of base 10 to lock puck mount 20 to base 10 but any appropriate mounting system would work.

The puck 20 is capable of receiving a support member 30 to which a display item support 40 is mounted. The support member 30 can be of any various shape, size or configuration. For example, support member 30 can be a simple vertical rod attached to a display item support 40. Support members 30 can be combined as a frame, such as by connecting by a horizontal cross member between two support members 30. The horizontal cross member can be fixed or adjustably attached to the support members 30. For example, in one embodiment of the invention, support members 30 are a U-saddle for removably receiving the horizontal cross member. In yet another embodiment, support member 30 can have attached a single or plurality of horizontal cross bars for hanging garments or other items on the cross bars. The cross bars can be adjustably attached to the support member 30 by tube and thumb screw assembly, so as to enable the cross bars to be moved up and down the length of support member 30. In the preferred embodiment, support member 30 is made of stainless steel. However, it would be within the scope of the invention to have support member 30 made of any other suitable material.

Regardless of its shape, size or configuration, support member 30 has a standard first threaded end 32 for mounting to puck 20, which is uniformly standard to engage the threaded sleeve of puck 20. As such, although support member 30 can be of any varying shape, size or configuration, support member 30 can be interchangeably mounted to any of the plurality of pucks 20, thereby allowing different arrangements of support members 30.

The support member 30 has a second end 34 for mounting to a display item support 40. When the first threaded end 32 of support member 30 is mounted to puck 20 in base 10, the second end 34 of the support member 30 projects upwards from base 10 to mount various display item supports 40.

The various display item supports 40 can also be of any different shape, size or configuration, so as to accommodate any particular display items. For example, display item support 40 can be a mannequin torso, a flat shelf for shoes, a round tray for displaying jewelry, etc. Regardless of the shape, size or configuration of the particular display item support 40, each display item support 40 has a standard mount 42 for mounting to second end 34 of support member 30. Hence, the various kinds of support members 30 can be combined with the various kinds of display item supports 40 because the standard second end 34 is uniformly capable of connecting to the display support mount 42. This allows a variety of display item supports 40 to be interchangeably combined with a variety of support members 30.

As such, it is contemplated a myriad of displays can be achieved by combining different bases 10, with various assortments of support members 30 and display item supports 40, to create a multitude of arrangements and configurations.

Although it is the preferred embodiment of the invention to have a plurality of pucks 20, support members 30, and display item supports 40 of different varieties so as to achieve a maximal combination of arrangements and configurations, it is also within the contemplated scope of the present invention to have an interchangeable retail display system comprising a base 10 having one puck 20. Even with only one puck 20, a multitude of different support members 30 and display item supports 40 can be interchangeably combined to create different arrangements with the one base 10.

Another feature of the interchangeable retail display system 1 of the present invention is that the support member 30 is further capable of telescoping to variable lengths. More particularly, in an embodiment of the invention the support member 30 is comprised of a first post part 36, which has a first threaded end 32 for engaging the threaded sleeve in puck 20. The support member 30 has a second post part 38 concentric to first post part 36, such that second post part 38 is capable of telescoping within first post part 36. In another embodiment of the invention, support member 30 is comprised of a plurality of telescoping post parts, such that the telescoping parts are capable of extending to variable lengths. The telescoping length of the support member 30 is set by a locking means 39 for locking the telescoping parts in any extended lengths. The locking means 39 can be a screw or wing nut, for example, that is accommodated through a hole in first post part 36 to engage second post part 38, so as to lock post part 38 into a desired position.

Referring to FIG. 5, locking means 39 can be assembled to first post part 36 by inserting a threaded portion of locking means 39 through a threaded hole provided in first post part 36. After locking means 39 is inserted into the hole, the threaded portion of locking means 38 is deformed so jamming a small notch 70 in first post part 36, such that locking means 39 cannot be completely disengaged from first post part 36.

Lastly, a puck cap 60 is provided to cover any puck 20 that is not used to mount a support member 30.

This invention is not to be limited by the embodiments shown in the drawings and described in the specification, which is given by way of example and not of limitation, but only in accordance with the scope of the appended claims.