Title:
PUSHER TRAY ADAPTER
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An adapter with trays and dividers for use with existing merchandise displays that allows for the display of products that would not otherwise fit within existing merchandise displays. In some embodiments, the adapter works in conjunction with pusher devices of existing merchandise displays so that product is pushed to the front of the tray as product is removed from the tray.



Inventors:
Calpin, Glenn (Winston Salem, NC, US)
Application Number:
12/023080
Publication Date:
08/06/2009
Filing Date:
01/31/2008
Assignee:
ROCK-TENN SHARED SERVICES, LLC (Norcross, GA, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47F5/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CHAN, KO HUNG
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Rock-Tenn / Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton (ATLANTA, GA, US)
Claims:
1. A merchandise display device comprising: (a) at least two display trays; (b) at least one pusher for pushing product forward; (c) at least one adapter comprising: (1) at least one adapter tray sized to fit within a first of the at least two display trays; (2) at least one divider sized to fit within a second of the at least two display trays; and (3) each adapter tray having at least one slot sized to receive the at least one pusher, wherein a plurality of product is capable of being housed within the one or more adapter trays, the product having dimensions not capable of fitting within the at least two display trays.

2. The merchandise display device of claim 1, wherein the adapter is made of corrugate.

3. The merchandise display device of claim 1, wherein the adapter is made of plastic.

4. The merchandise display device of claim 1, wherein the adapter comprises two adapter trays and one divider.

5. The merchandise display device of claim 1, wherein the at least one adapter tray is adapted to hold cans of smokeless tobacco.

6. The merchandise display device of claim 1, wherein the at least one divider is a graphic panel.

7. A method for displaying product comprising: (a) providing a merchandise display device comprising: (1) at least two display trays; (2) at least one pusher for pushing product forward; (b) providing at least one adapter comprising: (1) at least one adapter tray sized to fit within a first of the at least two display trays; (2) at least one divider sized to fit within a second of the at least two display trays; (3) each adapter tray having at least one slot sized to receive the at least one pusher; (c) housing product within the one or more trays, the product having dimensions not capable of fitting within one of the at least two display trays; and (d) advancing product by means of the at least one pusher upon removal of product from the adapter.

8. The method of claim 7, further comprising providing an adapter made of corrugate.

9. The method of claim 7, further comprising providing an adapter made of plastic.

10. The method of claim 7, further comprising providing an adapter comprising two adapter trays and one divider.

11. The method of claim 6, further comprising providing product that is cans of smokeless tobacco.

12. The method of claim 7, further comprising providing a divider that is a graphic panel.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

Embodiments of the present invention relate to an adapter for use with existing merchandise display racks.

BACKGROUND

Some of the current merchandise display racks in retail stores are designed to hold specific-sized product, such as cigarette boxes or cylindrical containers containing tobacco product, but cannot accommodate both. These display racks can include trays that hold a plurality of the specific-sized product. Moreover, current trays often include pushing features that cause the specific-sized product to move forward automatically as the forward-most product is removed. Because the pushing feature advances product forward, product is always at the front of the display rack and accessible to a user. The currently available displays often only accommodate product of a specific size, and cannot be used with products of other sizes.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Embodiments of the invention provide an adapter that allows existing merchandise display trays to accommodate products that are not sized to fit within the existing display trays. In some embodiments, the adapter works in conjunction with any pusher devices of existing display trays, which eliminates the need to add additional spring-loaded features to the adapter. In this way, the adapter allows different-sized product to be displayed in existing display trays, without limiting the functionality of any pusher devices of the existing display trays.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a top perspective view of the adapter according to one embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 2 is a top perspective view of two adapters of FIG. 1, shown in use with product and an existing merchandise display tray.

FIG. 3 is bottom plan view of the adapter of FIG. 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Embodiments of the invention will now be described more fully with reference to the drawings.

FIGS. 1-3 show various views of one embodiment of the invention. In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1-3, the adapter 100 includes at least one adapter tray 104 and at least one divider 106. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 1, the adapter 100 includes two adapter trays 104, separated by one divider 106. The adapter 100 corresponds in size and shape to the display trays 124 of existing merchandise displays 120, as shown in FIG. 2, so that the adapter 100 fits within the existing display tray 120. The adapter trays 104 are wider than the display trays 124 of the existing merchandise displays 120 to accommodate different sized and shaped products (such as product 118) that would not otherwise fit within the existing display trays 124. As one example, the existing display tray 124 can hold cigarette boxes, but is not sized to accommodate product that is wider, such as cans of smokeless tobacco. The adapter 100 can be used with existing merchandise displays 120 to expand the width of the display tray 124 to accommodate larger products, such as cans of smokeless tobacco. The adapter 100 can be sized to accommodate various other products of different shapes and sizes.

In the embodiment shown, the adapter 100 includes a front panel 108 that retains the forward-most product 118 (shown in FIG. 2) within the adapter tray 104. The product is readily accessible by a user. The adapter 100 also includes a back panel 110 and side panels 114 that retain product within the adapter tray 104. As shown in FIG. 3, the adapter 100 includes a bottom 112. In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1-3, the bottom 112 includes one or more slots 102. As shown in FIG. 2, the existing merchandise display 120 can include one or more pushers 116 within each display tray 124. The pushers 116 can be spring-loaded pushers, or can be any other suitable mechanism for advancing product forward, such as rubber bands or plastic coils. The slots 102 correspond in shape and size to pushers 116 of the existing merchandise displays 120 (shown in FIG. 2). In this way, the adapter 100 allows the use of the existing pusher 116 and eliminates the need for a separate pusher. Each pusher 116 rests against the backward-most product in the adapter tray 104 and advances the product forward as product is removed by a user. The slots 102 are sized to receive the pusher 116 so that movement of the pusher 116 is unobstructed. In this embodiment, a lip 122 can be provided in the bottom 112 of the adapter 100 to keep product 118 from falling through the slot 102.

Although the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1-3 has two adapter trays 104 and one divider 106, the adapter 100 may include any number and configuration of adapter trays 104 and dividers 106 to fit within the trays of existing merchandise displays (such as the display 120 shown in FIG. 2), so long as there is at least one adapter tray 104 and at least one divider 106. In another embodiment, the adapter includes one adapter tray and one divider. In some embodiments, the divider can be a graphic panel to advertise the product. The divider shown in FIGS. 1-3 is just one of many possible designs; for example, the divider can be any suitable shape and size.

Accordingly, the number of adapter trays 104 and dividers 106 of the adapter 100 can correspond to the number of display trays 124 in an existing merchandise display, or can be less than the number of trays in the existing merchandise display. If the number of adapter trays 104 and dividers 106 is smaller than the number of display trays in the existing merchandise display, the merchandise display 120 can house products of various sizes. For example, as shown in FIG. 2, product 118 may be stored within the adapter trays 104 of the adapter 100 and smaller sized product may be stored within the display trays 124 of the existing merchandise display 120 that are not being used with the adapter 100.

The adapter 100 can be made from corrugate or plastic, or any other suitable material.

Also provided is a method of using the adapter 100 with existing merchandise displays (such as the merchandise display shown in FIG. 2). In some embodiments, the adapter 100 is preloaded with product before it is shipped to the retailer. In other embodiments, the adapter 100 is shipped to the retailer without product and is loaded with product by the retailer. One or more adapters 100 are placed within existing merchandise displays; specifically, the one or more adapters 100 rest within one or more display trays 124 so that any existing pushers 116 of the existing merchandise displays 120 are received through the slot 102 and movement of the pushers 116 is not obstructed by the adapter 100. The one or more adapters 100 then are stocked with product so that the pusher 116 pushes against the backward-most product. The one or more adapters accommodates product that is larger in width or diameter than product that otherwise could be housed within the existing display trays 124. As a product is removed from an adapter tray 104, the corresponding pusher 116 advances the remaining product forward so that a product always rests against the front panel 108 of the adapter 100.

Changes and modifications, additions and deletions may be made to the structures and methods recited above and shown in the drawings without departing from the scope or spirit of the invention and the following claims.





 
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