Title:
Footwear hanger
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A hanger for storing footwear and/or for displaying footwear for sale at a retail establishment is comprised of a frame having an upright stem with a hanging hook at its upper end and a crossbar at its lower end, and a pair of footwear supporting members extending upwardly from opposite ends of the crossbar, and a pair of footwear receiving footpads mounted respectively on the supporting members. Each hanger is adapted to receive and store or to receive and display a pair of footwear products. In a retail establishment, a plurality of the footwear bearing hangers may be hung on a display rack for displaying to customers a plurality of footwear products of different styles and/or different sizes. The mode of display promotes self service and impulse sales, especially of economical, mass produced footwear products.



Inventors:
Kelley, Thomas Jeffrey (San Diego, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/408721
Publication Date:
11/01/2007
Filing Date:
04/21/2006
Assignee:
Sanuk USA, LLC
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47F7/08
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
KRYCINSKI, STANTON L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
GREER, BURNS & CRAIN, LTD (CHICAGO, IL, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A footwear hanger comprising a frame having an upright stem, a crossbar at the lower end of the stem extending substantially equal distances to opposites sides of said stem and a pair of footwear supporting members extending upwardly from said crossbar on opposite sides of said stem.

2. A footwear hanger as set forth in claim 1, including a footpad on each of said supporting members.

3. A footwear hanger as set forth in claim 2, said footpads comprising simulations of a pair of human feet.

4. A footwear hanger as set forth in claim 2, said footpads being comprised of a foam or foam-like material.

5. A footwear hanger as set forth in claim 2, said footpads being pressed onto said supporting members and said supporting members having barbs thereon resisting removal of said footpads from said supporting members.

6. A footwear hanger as set forth in claim 1 wherein said supporting members are offset to the sides and forwardly from said stem.

7. A footwear hanger as set forth in claim 1 wherein said stem is of a generally L-shape having a vertical leg and a horizontal leg extending forwardly from the lower end of the vertical leg, said crossbar extending across the forward end of said horizontal leg and said supporting members being offset from said vertical leg.

8. A footwear hanger as set forth in claim 1 including a hanger hook at the upper end of the stem.

9. A footwear hanger comprising a frame of generally inverted T-shape having an upright stem of generally L-shape including a vertical leg and a horizontal leg extending forwardly from the lower end of the vertical leg, a crossbar on the forward end of the horizontal leg extending substantially equal distances to opposite sides of the stem and a pair of footwear supporting members extending upwardly from the opposite ends of the crossbar, and a pair of footwear receiving footpads mounted respectively on said supporting members.

10. A footwear hanger as set forth in claim 9, said footpads being comprised of a foam of foam-like material and simulating the feet of a human.

11. A footwear hanger as set forth in claim 9, said footpads being pressed onto said supporting members, said supporting members having barbs thereon resisting removal of said footpads from said supporting members.

12. A method of displaying footwear for sale in a retail establishment comprising the steps of providing a display rack, providing a plurality of footwear hangers, each of said hangers comprising a frame having an upright stem, a crossbar at the lower end of the stem extending substantially equal distances to opposite sides of the stem and a pair of footwear supporting members extending upwardly from the crossbar on opposite sides of the stem, and a pair of footwear receiving footpads mounted respectively on the supporting members, mounting a pair of footwear products on each of said hangers, and hanging the plurality of hangers bearing a plurality of pairs of footwear products on the display rack.

13. A method as set forth in claim 12, wherein said footpads are comprised of a foam of foam-like material and simulate the feet of a human.

14. A method as set forth in claim 12, wherein said footpads are pressed onto said supporting members and said supporting members have barbs thereon resisting removal of the footpads from the supporting members.

15. A method as set forth in claim 12, wherein the footpads are offset to the sides and forwardly from the stem for displaying the footwear to best advantage.

16. A method as set forth in claim 12, including the step of hanging on the display rack a plurality of pairs of footwear products of different styles and/or different sizes.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to hangers for storing footwear and/or for displaying footwear for sale at a retail establishment.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

In retail footwear stores it is customary to display a single pair of each style and brand of footwear products available for sale and for the store clerk to retreat to a back storeroom to retrieve a pair of products of the style and size desired by a customer.

This involves an amount of personal attention from a clerk which may not be economically warranted in the case of low priced, mass produced footwear products such as beachwear, sandals and the like.

It would be advantageous to have a mode of displaying such products in a manner promoting self service and impulse sales.

Also, in homes, shoes are frequently strewn randomly on the floor in a closet or stored in boxes on a shelf, and it would be convenient to have a better mode of storing footwear.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is the object of the invention to provide an improved mode of storing shoes and of displaying shoes for sale at retail.

It is in particular an object of the invention to provide hangers for hanging pairs of footwear products, e.g., pairs of shoes and pairs of sandals, on the clothes bar in a closet or on a display rack in a retail store.

In a retail shoe store, a plurality of footwear bearing hangers may be hung on a display rack for displaying to customers a plurality of pairs of footwear products of different styles and/or different sizes. This mode of display promotes self service sales and impulse sales, and minimizes the amount of time a store clerk is required to spend with the customer.

In accordance with the invention, the footwear hanger of the invention is comprised of a frame having an upright stem with a hanging hook at its upper end and a crossbar at its lower end, and a pair of footwear supporting members extending upwardly from opposite ends of the crossbar, and a pair of footwear receiving foot pads mounted respectively on the supporting members. Each hanger is adapted to receive and store or to receive and display a pair of footwear products. The foot pads are preferably comprised of a foam or foam-like material and are shaped to simulate the feet of a human for attractive display.

The hangers are effective to retain footwear in matched or mated pairs and may be made sufficiently economically to accommodate their inclusion in the selling price of the footwear.

The foregoing and other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent to those of reasonable skill in the art from the following detailed description, as considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a front view of the footwear hanger of the invention shown displaying a pair of sandals;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the footwear hanger of the invention;

FIG. 3 is a front view of the footwear hanger with one of the foot pads removed and its position depicted in dot dashed lines;

FIG. 4 is a side view of the footwear hanger with a foot pad removed and its position depicted in dot dashed lines;

FIG. 5 is a top plan view of the hanger with the foot pad depicted in dotted lines; and

FIG. 6 is a detailed perspective view of one of the foot pad supporting members.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

The following is a detailed description of an embodiment of the invention presently deemed by the inventor to be the best mode of carrying out his invention.

Referring to the drawings, the footwear hanger of the invention is comprised of a frame 10 and a pair of footwear receiving footpads 30.

The frame 10 is preferably a one piece, unitary member molded from an economical, disposable/recyclable plastic material. The frame is generally in the form of an inverted T having an upright central stem 12 and a horizontal crossbar 14 located at the lower end of the stem. A conventional hanging or hanger hook 16 is provided at the upper end of the stem.

The crossbar 14 extends equal distances to opposite sides of the stem 12 and carries at its ends a pair of upstanding footwear supporting members 18, each adapted to support a respective one of a pair of footwear products.

The stem 12 is preferably of L shape in side elevation having a vertical leg 20 and a forwardly extending horizontal leg 22. The crossbar 14 is located at the forward end of the horizontal leg 22 and extends sidewardly and rearwardly from the leg 22 so that the upwardly extending footwear supporting members 18 are spaced sidewardly and forwardly from the vertical leg 20 of the stem 12. The spacing is such that a pair of footwear products mounted on the supports 18 will have their soles substantially aligned with the vertical leg of the stem. Also, the point of juncture of the forwardly extending horizontal leg 22 of the stem with the horizontal crossbar 14 provides a convenient location for a brand name or logo placard 24.

To complete the frame 10, reinforcing ribs 26 and 28 are provided at strategic junctures of the elements of the frame, as shown in the drawings.

The footpads 30 are preferably comprised of a stiff, shape retaining, but semi-resilient foam or foam-like material. Each pad is of a length, width and thickness and is so shaped as to replicate or simulate respective ones of a pair of human feet, i.e., a left foot and a right foot. Simulation of toes is desirable, particularly for the display of open toe sandals as illustrated in FIG. 1.

The two footpads 30 illustrated in the drawings are actually identical and simple reversely mounted on the frame.

Each footpad has a longitudinal mounting hole therein extending inwardly from the heel of the pad toward the toe of the pad, which is of a length and diameter equal approximately to that of a supporting member 18 so that the footpads can conveniently be slipped onto the members 18. To resist or deter inadvertent removal of the footpads from their supports, each of the supporting members 18 is provided with laterally extending footbed engaging barbs 18a. Each barb has a sloping upper face to facilitate slipping the pads onto the supports and an abrupt or sharp lower face engagable with the pad to resist displacement of the pad relative to the support when displayed items of footwear are slipped onto and off of the pad.

Each hanger of the invention is adapted to receive and store or to receive and display a pair of footwear products, for example, a pair of sandals as illustrated in FIG. 1. The footwear products may be of any style, for example, dress shoes, athletic shoes, sandals, beach and surf wear, etc., and may also be of substantially any size.

In a home, pairs of shoes can be stored in an organized and compact fashion by simply hanging the shoes in respective pairs on a clothes pole in a closet using the hanger of the invention.

In a retail establishment, a plurality of hangers bearing a plurality of pairs of footwear products, e.g., shoes, can be hung on one or more conventional display racks for convenient access and self help service by customers. The pairs of shoes displayed on a given display rack may, for example, be comprised of shoes of a single style and different sizes or shoes of a single size and different styles. In any event, the pairs of shoes are attractively displayed for point of purchase impact and impulse sales, particularly for mass produced, economical footwear products.

The objects and advantages of the invention have thus been shown to be obtained in a convenient, economical, practical and facile manner.

While a preferred embodiment of the invention has been herein illustrated and described, it is to be appreciated that various changes rearrangements and modifications may be made therein without departing from the scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.