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Title:
A RETAIL DISPLAY SYSTEM
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/081612
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
There is provided a connector (22) for a retail display system (10), the connector (22) comprising a housing (40) having a first end (42) and a second end (44) opposite the first end (42). The housing (40) defines a longitudinal axis extending between the first end (42) and the second end (44) of the housing (40). The connector (22) also comprises at least one latching member (24, 26) positioned at the first end (42) of the housing (40), the at least one latching member (24, 26) being moveable with respect to the housing (40) between an unlatched position and a latched position. The at least one latching member (24, 26) is arranged to pivot around a rotational axis between the unlatched position and the latched position, wherein the rotational axis is orthogonal to the longitudinal axis. The connector (22) also comprises an actuating member (46) extending from the second end (44) of the housing (40), the actuating member (46) being slidable along the longitudinal axis with respect to the housing (40). The actuating member (46) comprises a shaft portion (52) slidably received within the housing (40) and a resilient portion (56, 58) overlying the shaft portion (52). The actuating member (46) is arranged to move the at least one latching member (24, 26) from the unlatched position to the latched position when the actuating member (46) slides with respect to the housing (40).

Inventors:
BABIC, Aleksandar (Jasenova 3/1, Belgrade, 11000, RS)
GRANIC, Davor (Milentija Popovica 17/13, Belgrade 58, 11170, RS)
MILOSEVIC, Milos (Skadarska 20/7, Belgrade, 11000, RS)
Application Number:
EP2018/079217
Publication Date:
May 02, 2019
Filing Date:
October 24, 2018
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
PHILIP MORRIS PRODUCTS S.A. (Quai Jeanrenaud 3, Neuch√Ętel, CH-2000, CH)
International Classes:
A47F5/08; A47F11/06; F16B5/06; F16B19/10; F16M13/02; H01R25/16
Foreign References:
US3875843A1975-04-08
US4499636A1985-02-19
US5881982A1999-03-16
US20120228240A12012-09-13
US20150289681A12015-10-15
Other References:
None
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DOWLING, Ian (Reddie & Grose LLP, The White Chapel Building10 Whitechapel High Street, London Greater London E1 8QS, E1 8QS, GB)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Claims

1. A connector for a retail display system, the connector comprising:

a housing having a first end and a second end opposite the first end, wherein the housing defines a longitudinal axis extending between the first end and the second end of the housing; at least one latching member positioned at the first end of the housing, the at least one latching member being moveable with respect to the housing between an unlatched position and a latched position, wherein the at least one latching member is arranged to pivot around a rotational axis between the unlatched position and the latched position, and wherein the rotational axis is orthogonal to the longitudinal axis; and

an actuating member extending from the second end of the housing, the actuating member being slidable along the longitudinal axis with respect to the housing, wherein the actuating member comprises a shaft portion slidably received within the housing and a resilient portion overlying the shaft portion, wherein the resilient portion is arranged to engage the at least one latching member;

wherein the actuating member is arranged to move the at least one latching member from the unlatched position to the latched position when the actuating member slides with respect to the housing. 2. A connector according to claim 1 , wherein the at least one latching member comprises a bellcrank arranged to pivot around the rotational axis, and wherein the actuating member is arranged to engage a first end of the bellcrank.

3. A connector according to claim 1 or 2, wherein the at least one latching member comprises a first latching member and a second latching member, wherein the first latching member is arranged to pivot around a first rotational axis, wherein the second latching member is configured to pivot around a second rotational axis, and wherein the first and second rotational axes are orthogonal to the longitudinal axis. 4. A connector according to claim 3, wherein the first and second rotational axes are parallel to each other, wherein the first and second rotational axes are positioned on opposite sides of the longitudinal axis, and wherein the first and second rotational axes are spaced equally from the longitudinal axis.

5. A connector according to any preceding claim, wherein the actuating member further comprises a flange portion positioned at an end of the shaft portion.

6. A connector according to any preceding claim, wherein the at least one latching member comprises a first latching member and a second latching member, wherein each of the first and second latching members comprises a latching portion configured to protrude from the housing when the first and second latching members are in the latched position, and wherein the latching portions of the first and second latching members are arranged to move away from each other when the first and second latching members are moved from the unlatched positions to the latched positions.

7. A connector according to any preceding claim, wherein the housing comprises:

a body portion defining the first end and the second end of the housing; and

a flange extending from the body portion at the second end of the housing.

8. A connector according to any preceding claim, further comprising a first electrical contact positioned on the at least one latching member and a second electrical contact positioned on at least one of the housing and the actuating member.

9. A retail display system comprising:

a back plate comprising a first surface, a second surface, and a plurality of apertures extending through the back plate between the first surface and the second surface, wherein the plurality of apertures are spaced apart from each other; and

at least one connector according to any preceding claim;

wherein the each of the plurality of apertures of the back plate is sized to receive at least a portion of the housing of the at least one connector; and

wherein the at least one connector is configured so that, when the housing is received within one of the plurality of apertures and the at least one latching member is in the latched position, the at least one latching member is engaged with the first surface of the back plate and at least one of the housing and the actuating member is engaged with the second surface of the back plate.

10. A retail display system according to claim 9, wherein the back plate comprises:

an electrically insulating substrate layer having a first side and a second side;

a first electrically conductive layer overlying at least a portion of the first side of the electrically insulating substrate layer; and

a second electrically conductive layer overlying at least a portion of the second side of the electrically insulating substrate layer;

wherein each of the plurality of apertures extends through the first electrically conductive layer, the electrically insulating substrate layer and the second electrically conductive layer.

1 1. A retail display system according to claim 9 or 10, further comprising a display module, wherein the connector is configured for attachment to the display module.

12. A retail display system according to claim 1 1 , wherein the actuating member is configured for attachment to the display module.

Description:
A RETAIL DISPLAY SYSTEM

The present invention relates to a connector for a retail display system and to a retail display system comprising the connector.

It is often desirable for manufacturers and retailers to promote the sale of products in a retail outlet, for example to draw the attention of potential customers to a particular product. In some cases products may be displayed on existing racks or shelving within the retail outlet and accompanied by a promotional element, such as a poster fastened to a wall adjacent the shelving or a video display attached to the wall or the shelving. However, relying on existing racks or shelving limits the options for customisation of the display for different products. Furthermore, the use of lighting or video displays in these cases typically requires one or more cables that trail from a power outlet and may be unsightly, may create a hazard, or both.

An alternative method for displaying or highlighting products within a retail outlet is to use a free-standing promotional display. Although such free-standing displays may offer the ability to highly customise the display to the product being promoted they also carry a number of disadvantages. Firstly, there may be insufficient space within the retail outlet for a free-standing display. Secondly, since free-standing displays are typically highly customised for the product being displayed, they may not be re-usable at a later time for a different product. Therefore, to minimise costs, free-standing displays are typically manufactured from low cost materials, such as cardboard. This may diminish the perceived quality of the display and also results in a freestanding display that may be unsuitable for displaying heavy products and may be prone to being knocked over. Free-standing displays also do not solve the problem of trailing electrical cables in cases where the display includes a powered element, such as lighting or a video display.

It would be desirable to provide a retail display system that may be easily customised to suit a desired display. It would be desirable to provide a retail display system that may be easily reconfigured to customise the system to suit an alternative desired display. It would be desirable to provide a retail display system that may be easily integrated into an existing retail outlet.

According to a first aspect of the present invention there is provided a connector for a retail display system, the connector comprising a housing having a first end and a second end opposite the first end. The connector also comprises at least one latching member positioned at the first end of the housing, the at least one latching member being moveable with respect to the housing between an unlatched position and a latched position. The connector also comprises an actuating member extending from the second end of the housing, the actuating member being slidable with respect to the housing. The actuating member is arranged to move the at least one latching member from the unlatched position to the latched position when the actuating member slides with respect to the housing. The connector according to the present invention may facilitate mounting of one or more display modules of a retail display system to a mounting portion of the retail display system, such as a back plate. Advantageously, providing an actuating member arranged to move at least one latching member from an unlatched position to a latched position may facilitate at least one of automatic latching and automatic unlatching of the connector with respect to a mounting portion of the system. Advantageously, the connector may facilitate repeated and reversible mounting of a display module to a mounting portion of a retail display system.

Preferably, the at least one latching member is arranged to protrude from the housing when the at least one latching member is in the latched position. The at least one latching member may comprise a latching portion arranged to protrude from the housing when the at least one latching member is in the latched position.

The at least one latching member may be arranged to be retracted within the housing when the at least one latching member is in the unlatched position.

The at least one latching member may be arranged to protrude from the housing when the at least one latching member is in the unlatched position. Preferably, at least one latching member is arranged to protrude further from the housing when the at least one latching member is in the latched position.

The actuating member may be arranged to move the at least one latching member from the latched position to the unlatched position when the actuating member slides with respect to the housing.

The connector may comprise at least one biasing member arranged to move the at least one latching member from the latched position to the unlatched position when the actuating member slides with respect to the housing. The at least one biasing member may comprise at least one spring.

Preferably, the actuating member is arranged to slide with respect to the housing along a first direction and along a second direction, wherein the second direction is opposite the first direction. Preferably, the actuating member is arranged to move the at least one latching member from the unlatched position to the latched position when the actuating member slides along the first direction.

The actuating member may be arranged to move the at least one latching member from the latched position to the unlatched position when the actuating member slides along the second direction.

In embodiments in which the connector comprises at least one biasing member, the at least one biasing member may be arranged to move the at least one latching member from the latched position to the unlatched position when the actuating member slides along the second direction. Preferably, the at least one latching member comprises a first latching member and a second latching member. Advantageously, providing the connector with first and second latching members may facilitate more even loading of the connector when the connector is used to mount a display module to a mounting portion of a retail display system. Preferably, each of the first and second latching members is moveable with respect to the housing between an unlatched position and a latched position.

Preferably, each of the first and second latching members comprises a latching portion arranged to protrude from the housing when the first and second latching members are in their latched positions. Preferably, first and second latching members are arranged so that the latching portions of the first and second latching members move away from each other when the first and second latching members are moved from their unlatched positions to their latched positions. Advantageously, this may increase a width of a portion of the connector when the first and second latching members move from their unlatched positions to their latched positions. Advantageously, this may facilitate insertion of the connector through an aperture in a mounting portion of a retail display system when the first and second latching members are in their unlatched positions. Advantageously, this may prevent removal of the connector from an aperture in a mounting portion of a retail display system when the first and second latching members are in their latched positions.

Preferably, the housing defines a longitudinal axis extending between the first end and the second end of the housing, wherein the actuating member is arranged to slide along the longitudinal axis with respect to the housing. In embodiments in which the actuating member is arranged to slide along a first direction and a second direction, preferably the first and second directions each extend along the longitudinal axis of the housing.

The actuating member may comprise at least one camming surface arranged to engage the at least one latching member when the actuating member slides with respect to the housing. In embodiments in which the at least one latching member comprises first and second latching members, the at least one camming surface may comprise a common camming surface arranged to engage both the first and second latching members. The at least one camming surface may comprise a first camming surface arranged to engage the first latching member and a second camming surface arranged to engage the second latching member.

The at least one camming surface may comprise a tapered portion. In embodiments in which the at least one camming surface comprises a first camming surface and a second camming surface, the first and second camming surfaces may each comprise a tapered portion.

The at least one camming surface may comprise at least one detent arranged to engage the at least one latching member when the at least one latching member is in the latched position. Advantageously, the at least one detent may retain the latching member in the latched position until a sufficient force is applied to the actuating member to disengage the at least one latching member. In embodiments in which the at least one camming surface comprises first and second camming surfaces, the first camming surface may comprise a first detent arranged to engage the first latching member when the first latching member is in the latched position. The second camming surface may comprise a second detent arranged to engage the second latching member when the second latching member is in the latched position.

In embodiments in which the housing comprises a longitudinal axis, the at least one latching member may be arranged to slide along a lateral axis between the unlatched position and the latched position, wherein the lateral axis is orthogonal to the longitudinal axis.

In embodiments in which the at least one latching member comprises a first latching member and a second latching member, preferably the first latching member and the second latching member are positioned on opposite sides of the longitudinal axis. Preferably, the first and second latching members are arranged to slide along the same lateral axis. Preferably, the first and second latching members are arranged to slide in opposite directions away from the longitudinal axis when moving from their unlatched positions to their latched positions. Preferably, the first and second latching members are arranged to slide in opposite directions towards the longitudinal axis when moving from their latched positions to their unlatched positions.

In embodiments in which the housing comprises a longitudinal axis, the at least one latching member may be arranged to pivot around a rotational axis between the unlatched position and the latched position, wherein the rotational axis is orthogonal to the longitudinal axis.

In embodiments in which the at least one latching member comprises a first latching member and a second latching member, preferably the first latching member is arranged to pivot around a first rotational axis and the second latching member is configured to pivot around a second rotational axis, wherein the first and second rotational axes are orthogonal to the longitudinal axis.

Preferably, the first and second rotational axes are parallel to each other. Preferably, the first and second rotational axes are positioned on opposite sides of the longitudinal axis.

Preferably, the first and second rotational axes are spaced equally from the longitudinal axis.

Preferably, the first latching member is configured to rotate in a first rotational direction when the first latching member moves from the unlatched position to the latched position. Preferably, the second latching member is configured to rotate in a second rotational direction when the second latching member moves from the unlatched position to the latched position.

Preferably, the first rotational direction is opposite to the second rotational direction.

Advantageously, providing first and second rotational directions that are opposite to each other may facilitate simultaneous movement of the first and second latching members when the actuating member slides with respect to the housing.

The at least one latching member may comprise a bellcrank arranged to pivot around the rotational axis, wherein the actuating member is arranged to engage the bellcrank. In embodiments in which the at least one latching member comprises a first latching member and a second latching member, each of the first latching member and the second latching member may comprise a bellcrank.

The actuating member may be arranged to engage a first end of the bellcrank.

The bellcrank may comprise a first arm and a second arm. The first arm may extend orthogonally with respect to the second arm. The first arm may be an actuating arm, wherein the actuating member is arranged to engage the actuating arm when the actuating member slides with respect to the housing. In embodiments in which the actuating member is arranged to engage a first end of the bellcrank, a free end of the actuating arm may form the first end of the bellcrank.

The second arm of the bellcrank may be a latching arm. Preferably, the latching arm is arranged to protrude from the housing when the at least one latching member is in the latched position. A free end of the latching arm may form a second end of the bellcrank.

The actuating member may comprise a shaft portion slidably received within the housing. In embodiments in which the actuating member comprises at least one camming surface, a surface of the shaft portion may form the at least one camming surface.

The actuating member may comprise at least one resilient portion overlying the shaft portion. The at least one resilient portion may be arranged to engage the at least one latching member. Advantageously, the at least one resilient portion may be arranged to force the at least one latching member to snap between the unlatched position and the latched position when the actuating member slides with respect to the housing. Preferably, the at least one resilient portion is biased away from the shaft portion.

In embodiments in which the at least one latching member comprises a first latching member and a second latching member, preferably the at least one resilient portion comprises a first resilient portion arranged to engage the first latching member and a second resilient portion arranged to engage the second latching member.

In embodiments in which the first and second latching members each comprise a bellcrank comprising a first arm and a second arm, preferably the first resilient portion is arranged to engage the first arm of the first latching member and the second resilient portion is arranged to engage the first arm of the second latching member.

In embodiments in which the at least one latching member comprises a first latching member and a second latching member, preferably the shaft portion of the actuating member is arranged to slide between the first latching member and the second latching member. In embodiments in which the actuating member comprises first and second resilient portions, preferably the first and second resilient portions are arranged to slide between the first and second latching members. Preferably, the actuating member comprises a flange portion positioned at an end of the shaft portion. Advantageously, the flange portion may facilitate attachment of the connector to a display module of a retail display system. The flange portion may comprise at least one aperture extending through the flange portion. Advantageously, the at least one aperture may receive a fastener for attaching the connector to a display module. For example, the at least one aperture may receive a screw or a bolt. Preferably, the at least one aperture is a plurality of apertures.

The housing may comprise a body portion defining the first end and the second end of the housing, and a flange extending from the body portion at the second end of the housing.

Advantageously, the flange may facilitate engagement of the connector with a mounting portion of a retail display system. For example, the body portion of the housing may be received within an aperture on a mounting portion of a retail display system, wherein the part of the mounting portion is clamped between the flange and the at least one latching member when the at least one latching member is in the latched position.

Advantageously, the flange may facilitate movement of the actuating member with respect to the housing. For example, the body portion of the housing may be inserted into an aperture on a mounting portion of a retail display system when the at least one latching member is in the unlatched position. When the flange engages the mounting portion of the retail display system, further movement of the housing with respect to the mounting portion may be prevented, which may facilitate movement of the actuating member with respect to the housing to move the at least one latching member into the latched position.

Preferably, the connector comprises a first electrical contact positioned on the at least one latching member and a second electrical contact positioned on at least one of the housing and the actuating member. Advantageously, the first and second electrical contacts may allow the connector to receive a supply of electrical power from a component of a retail display system, such as a mounting portion of a retail display system.

Each of the first electrical contact and the second electrical contact may be formed from any suitable material. Preferably, each of the first electrical contact and the second electrical contact is formed from aluminium.

In embodiments in which the at least one latching member comprises a latching portion, preferably the first electrical contact is positioned on the latching portion. In embodiments in which the at least one latching member comprises a bellcrank comprising first arm and a second arm, preferably the first electrical contact is positioned on the second arm.

In embodiments in which the at least one latching member comprises a first latching member and a second latching member, the first electrical contact may be positioned on one of the first latching member and the second latching member. The first electrical contact may comprise an electrical contact positioned on the first latching member and an electrical contact positioned on the second latching member. In embodiments in which the housing comprises a flange, the second electrical contact may be positioned on the flange. Preferably, the second electrical contact is positioned on a surface of the flange facing towards the first end of the housing.

Preferably, the connector comprises a first electrical terminal arranged for electrical connection with the first electrical contact, and a second electrical connector arranged for electrical connection with the second electrical contact. Advantageously, the first and second electrical terminals may facilitate the transfer of a supply of electrical power to an external electrical circuit. For example, during use, the connector may receive a supply of electrical power from a mounting portion of a retail display system via the first and second electrical contacts. The connector may transfer the received supply of electrical power to an electrical circuit of a display module via the first and second electrical terminals.

Each of the first and second electrical terminals may comprise a crimp connector.

The first and second electrical terminals may be positioned on the actuating member. In embodiments in which the actuating member comprises a flange portion, preferably the first and second electrical terminals are positioned on the flange portion of the actuating member. In embodiments in which the housing comprises a flange, preferably the first and second electrical terminals are positioned on a surface of the flange portion facing away from the flange of the housing.

In embodiments in which the first and second terminals are positioned on the actuating member, preferably the second electrical contact is positioned on the housing.

In embodiments in which the first and second terminals are positioned on the actuating member, preferably the actuating member comprises a first conductive portion arranged to conduct electrical current from the first electrical contact to the first electrical terminal. Preferably, the actuating member comprises a second conductive portion arranged to conduct electrical current from the second electrical contact to the second electrical terminal.

In embodiments in which the actuating member comprises a shaft portion, at least part of the first conductive portion may be positioned on the shaft portion.

In embodiments in which the actuating member comprises at least one resilient portion overlying a shaft portion, at least part of the first conductive portion may be positioned on the at least one resilient portion.

In embodiments in which the actuating member comprises at least one camming surface, at least part of the first conductive portion may be positioned on the at least one camming surface.

In embodiments in which the actuating member comprises a flange portion, at least part of the second conductive portion may be positioned on the flange portion.

The first and second electrical terminals may be positioned on the housing. In embodiments in which the housing comprises a flange, the first and second electrical terminals may be positioned on the flange. In embodiments in which the actuating member comprises a flange portion, the flange portion may comprise at least one cut-out overlying the first and second electrical terminals. Advantageously, the at least one cut-out may facilitate electrical connection of the first and second terminals to an external electrical circuit. For example, first and second electrical wires may be connected to the first and second electrical terminals respectively, wherein the first and second electrical wires extend through the at least one cut-out. The flange portion may comprise a first cut-out overlying the first electrical terminal and a second cut-out overlying the second electrical terminal.

The housing may comprise a first conductive portion arranged to conduct electrical current from the first electrical contact to the first electrical terminal. The first conductive portion may comprise a resilient connector biased towards the first electrical contact positioned on the at least one latching member. The resilient connector may comprise an electrically conductive leaf spring. The first electrical terminal may be directly connected to the first conductive portion. The first electrical terminal may be formed integrally with the first conductive portion.

In embodiments in which the second electrical contact is positioned on the housing, the second electrical terminal may be directly connected to the second electrical contact. The second electrical terminal may be formed integrally with the second electrical contact.

In any of the embodiments in which the connector comprises a first electrical terminal and a second electrical terminal, the first electrical terminal may be arranged for permanent electrical connection with the first electrical contact. The first electrical terminal may be arranged for electrical connection with the first electrical contact only when the at least one latching member is in the latched position. The second electrical terminal may be arranged for permanent electrical connection with the second electrical contact. The second electrical terminal may be arranged for electrical connection with the second electrical contact only when the at least one latching member is in the latched position.

Each of the at least one latching member, the housing and the actuating member may be formed from any suitable material. Suitable materials include polymeric materials. Suitable polymeric materials include plastics. A suitable material may be an acrylonitrile butadiene styrene plastic.

Each of the at least one latching member, the housing and the actuating member may be formed using any suitable process. Suitable processes include injection moulding and 3D printing.

According to a second aspect of the present invention there is provided a retail display system. The retail display system comprises a back plate comprising a first surface, a second surface, and a plurality of apertures extending through the back plate between the first surface and the second surface. The plurality of apertures are spaced apart from each other. The retail display system also comprises at least one connector according to the first aspect of the present invention, in accordance with any of the embodiments described herein. Each of the plurality of apertures of the back plate is sized to receive at least a portion of the housing of the at least one connector. The at least one connector is configured so that, when the housing is received within one of the plurality of apertures and the at least one latching member is in the latched position, the at least one latching member is engaged with the first surface of the back plate and at least one of the housing and the actuating member is engaged with the second surface of the back plate.

The back plate of the retail display system forms a mounting portion of the retail display system.

Advantageously, the retail display system according to the present invention facilitates integration of the retail display system into an existing retail outlet. For example, the back plate may be permanently mounted to a wall or other structure within the retail outlet.

Advantageously, the at least one connector facilitates customisation of a retail display on the retail display system. For example, the at least one connector may be connected to any of the plurality of apertures on the back plate to mount a display module in any desired position on the back plate.

Advantageously, the at least one connector facilitates re-use of the retail display system for multiple, different displays. That is, the at least one latching member of the at least one connector allows reversible attachment of the at least one connector to the back plate so that the at least one connector may be moved between different apertures on the back plate.

Preferably, each of the plurality of apertures is rotationally symmetric. Advantageously, a rotationally symmetric aperture may receive the at least one connector in a plurality of orientations. Advantageously, this may facilitate customisation of a retail display on the retail display system. For example, a display module attached to the at least one connector may be attached to the back plate in a plurality of orientations by rotating the display module and the at least one connector with respect to the back plate. Advantageously, this eliminates the need to detach the at least one connector from the display module and re-attach the at least one connector to the display module in a different orientation.

Each of the plurality of apertures may have a square shape. Each of the plurality of apertures may have a circular shape.

Preferably, each of the plurality of apertures has a square shape having a width of less than about 50 millimetres, more preferably less than about 45 millimetres, more preferably less than about 40 millimetres, more preferably less than about 35 millimetres. Preferably, each of the plurality of apertures has a square shape having a width of at least about 15 millimetres, more preferably at least about 20 millimetres, more preferably at least about 25 millimetres. Preferably, each of the plurality of apertures has a square shape having a width of about 30 millimetres, such as 29.5 millimetres. Preferably, the plurality of apertures is arranged on the back plate in a pattern. Preferably, the plurality of apertures is arranged on the back plate in a repeating pattern. Preferably, the plurality of apertures is arranged on the back plate in a grid of columns and rows. Preferably, the spacing between consecutive apertures is the same across the back plate. The spacing in the row direction and the column direction between the centres of consecutive apertures is preferably less than about 300 millimetres, more preferably less than about 250 millimetres, more preferably less than about 200 millimetres, more preferably less than about 150 millimetres, more preferably less than about 135 millimetres. The spacing in the row direction and the column direction between the centres of consecutive apertures is preferably at least about 75 millimetres, more preferably at least about 100 millimetres, more preferably at least about 1 15 millimetres. The spacing in the row direction and the column direction between the centres of consecutive apertures is preferably about 125 millimetres.

Preferably, the retail display system comprises a plurality of connectors according to the first aspect of the present invention, in accordance with any of the embodiments described herein.

Advantageously, a plurality of connectors may facilitate a more secure attachment of a display module to the back plate. For example, a plurality of connectors may be attached to a single display module.

Advantageously, a plurality of connectors may facilitate the simultaneous attachment of a plurality of display modules to the back plate. For example, one or more first connectors may be attached to a first display module and one or more second connectors may be attached to a second display module.

Preferably, the retail display system comprises at least one display module, wherein the at least one connector is configured for attachment to the at least one display module.

The at least one connector may comprise at least one aperture for receiving a fastener for attaching the at least one connector to the at least one display module, as described herein.

The at least one connector may be configured to attach to the at least one display module by an interference fit.

The at least one connector may be attached to the at least one display module using an adhesive.

Preferably, the actuating member is configured for attachment to the at least one display module. In embodiments in which the actuating member comprises a flange portion, preferably the flange portion is configured for attachment to the at least one display module.

The at least one display module may comprise at least one of a tile, a shelf, a product cabinet, a poster cabinet, a lighting module, a display device, an audio device, a computing device, and combinations thereof.

Advantageously, a tile may be used to cover portions of the back plate that may be unused for a given retail display. Advantageously, a tile may be used to display a text-based message, a graphical message, or both. A tile may be used to display at least one of a product name and a logo.

One or more of a shelf, a product cabinet and a poster cabinet may include one or more lighting elements. For example, the one or more lighting elements may be used to illuminate one or both of a product and a poster.

A lighting module may be used to provide illumination of one or more parts of a retail display. A lighting module may include at least one of an incandescent lamp, a fluorescent lamp, and a light emitting diode.

Advantageously, a display device may be used to display at least one of an image and a video. A display device may include at least one of a light emitting diode display and a liquid crystal display.

An audio device may comprise at least one of a speaker and a microphone.

A computing device may comprise at least one of a central processing unit, a graphics processing unit, and a data storage device. A computing device may be used to control one or more other display modules of the retail display system. A computing device may be used to control at least one of a lighting module, a display device and an audio device.

Preferably, the back plate comprises an electrically insulating substrate layer having a first side and a second side. Preferably, the back plate comprises a first electrically conductive layer overlying at least a portion of the first side of the electrically insulating substrate layer. Preferably, the back plate comprises a second electrically conductive layer overlying at least a portion of the second side of the electrically insulating substrate layer. Preferably, each of the plurality of apertures extends through the first electrically conductive layer, the electrically insulating substrate layer and the second electrically conductive layer.

Advantageously, providing the back plate with first and second electrically conductive layers may facilitate the transfer of electrical power to one or more display modules attached to the back plate. For example, the first electrically conductive layer may be connected to a first terminal of a power supply and the second electrically conductive layer may be connected to a second terminal of a power supply. This may be particularly advantageous in embodiments in which the retail display system comprises at least one display module comprises an electrical component. Such display modules include lighting modules, display devices, audio devices, and computing devices. Advantageously, using the back plate to transfer electrical power to one or more display modules attached to the back plate eliminates to attach power supply cables to the one or more display modules.

Each of the first and second electrically conductive layers may comprise any suitable electrically conductive material. Each of the first and second electrically conductive layers may comprise aluminium. Each of the first and second electrically conductive layers may have a thickness of less than about 1 millimetre, preferably less than about 0.75 millimetres. Each of the first and second electrically conductive layers may have a thickness of about 0.5 millimetres.

The electrically insulating substrate layer may comprise any suitable electrically insulating material. Suitable materials include polymeric materials. Suitable polymeric materials include plastics. A suitable material may include polyethylene.

The electrically insulating substrate layer may have a thickness of less than about 10 millimetres, preferably less than about 8 millimetres, preferably less than about 6 millimetres, preferably less than about 4 millimetres. Preferably, the electrically insulating substrate layer has a thickness of at least about 2 millimetres.

Preferably, the at least one connector comprises first and second electrical contacts as described herein. Preferably, the first electrical contact of the at least one connector is arranged to contact the first electrically conductive layer when the at least one connector is received within one of the plurality of apertures and the latching member is in the latched position. Preferably, the second electrical contact of the at least one connector is arranged to contact the second electrically conductive layer when the at least one connector is received within one of the plurality of apertures and the latching member is in the latched position.

Preferably, the back plate comprises a first electrically insulating coating layer overlying a portion of an outer surface of the first electrically conductive layer. Preferably, the first electrically insulating coating layer does not overlie portions of the first electrically conductive layer surrounding each of the plurality of apertures. Advantageously, this may

Preferably, the back plate comprises a second electrically insulating coating layer overlying a portion of an outer surface of the second electrically conductive layer. Preferably, the second electrically insulating coating layer does not overlie portions of the second electrically conductive layer surrounding each of the plurality of apertures.

Advantageously, the first and second electrically insulating coating layers may restrict electrical contact with the first and second electrically conductive layers to those portions surrounding each of the plurality of apertures. Advantageously, this may enable electrical contact between the at least one connector and the first and second electrically conductive layers while reducing the risk of undesired external electrical contact with the first and second electrically conductive layers.

The invention will be further described, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:

Figure 1 shows a retail display system according to the present invention;

Figure 2 shows rear view of the display module of the retail display system of Figure 1 ;

Figure 3 shows an enlarged view of the portion 1 of the retail display system of Figure 1 ; Figure 4 shows a sequence of views during the attachment of a connector to the back plate of the retail display system of Figure 1 ;

Figure 5 shows a cross-sectional view of the connector of Figure 4 with the latching members in the unlatched positions;

Figure 6 shows a cross-sectional view of the connector of Figure 4 when attached to the back plate and with the latching member in the latched positions; and

Figure 7 shows phantom views of the connector of Figure 4 to illustrate the electrical terminals and contacts.

Figure 1 shows a retail display system 10 according to an embodiment of the present invention. The retail display system 10 comprises a back plate 12 and a display module 14 comprising a display device. A single display module 14 is illustrated in Figure 1 , although it will be appreciated that the retail display system 10 may comprise a plurality of display modules.

The back plate 12 comprises a plurality of apertures 16 arranged in a grid of columns and rows on the back plate 12. Each of the apertures 16 has a square shape and is spaced equally from the adjacent apertures. A plurality of bushings 18 extending through the back plate 12 allow the back plate 12 to be attached to a wall or other structure using mechanical fasteners, such as screws. An electrical power supply 20 is electrically connected to the back plate 12.

Figure 2 shows a rear view of the display module 14. Attached to the rear of the display module 14 is a plurality of connectors 22. The plurality of connectors 22 may be received within the plurality of apertures 16 of the back plate 12 to attach the display module 14 to the back plate 12. As a result of the even spacing of the plurality of apertures 16 on the back plate 12 and the square profile of the apertures 16 and the connectors 22, the display module 14 may be attached to the back plate 12 in four different orientations at 90 degree intervals.

Figure 4 shows the process of attaching a connector 22 to the back plate 12. Upon insertion of the connector 22 into an aperture 16 of the back plate 12, the connector 22 is pushed against the back plate 12 to move first and second latching members 24, 26 of the connector 22 into latched positions. In the latched positions, the first and second latching members 24, 26 engage a rear surface of the back plate 12 to attach the connector 22 to the back plate 12.

As shown in Figures 3 and 4, the back plate 12 comprises an electrically insulating substrate layer 28, a first electrically conductive layer 30, a second electrically conductive layer 32, a first electrically insulating coating 34 and a second electrically insulating coating 36. The first electrically insulating coating 34 overlies the first electrically conductive layer 30, except for portions of the first electrically conductive layer 30 surrounding each of the apertures 16. Similarly, the second electrically insulating coating 36 overlies the second electrically conductive layer 32, except for portions of the second electrically conductive layer 32 surrounding each of the apertures 16. A first terminal of the power supply 20 is electrically connected to the first electrically conductive layer 30. A second terminal of the power supply 20 is electrically connected to the second electrically conductive layer 32. During use, the first and second electrically conductive layers 30, 32 transfer electrical power from the power supply 20 to the display module 14 via one or more of the connectors 22, as described in more detail with reference to Figure 6.

Figure 5 shows a cross-sectional view of the connector 22 with the first and second latching members 24, 26 in an unlatched position. The connector 22 comprises a housing 40 having a first end 42 and a second end 44. The connector 22 also comprises an actuating member 46 slidably received within the housing 40. The housing 40 comprises a body portion 48 and a flange 50. The actuating member 46 comprises a shaft portion 52, a flange portion 54, a first resilient portion 56 overlying the shaft portion 52 and a second resilient portion 58 overlying the shaft portion 52. The first resilient portion 56 engages the first latching member 24 and the second resilient portion 58 engages the second latching member 26. The flange portion 54 of the actuating member 46 comprises a plurality of apertures for attaching the connector 22 to the display module 14 using a plurality of fasteners, such as screws.

Each of the first and second latching members 24, 26 is in the form of a bellcrank 59 arranged for rotational movement with respect to the housing 40. Each bellcrank 59 comprises a first arm 60 and a second arm 62. The first arm 60 of each bellcrank 59 is engaged with the corresponding resilient portion 56, 58. The second arm 62 of each bellcrank 59 forms a latching portion.

A first electrical contact 64 is positioned on the first latching member 24 and extends over the first and second arms 60, 62 of the bellcrank 59. A first electrical terminal 66 in the form of a crimp connector is formed integrally with an electrically conductive portion 68 in the form of a leaf spring. The electrically conductive portion 68 contacts the first electrical contact 64.

A second electrical contact 70 is positioned on the flange 50 of the housing 40. A second electrical terminal 72 in the form of a crimp connector is formed integrally with the second electrical contact 70.

Figure 6 shows a cross-sectional view of the connector 22 attached to the back plate 12, with the first and second latching members 24, 26 in the latched positions. As shown in Figure 6, when the housing 40 of the connector 22 is inserted into an aperture 16 of the back plate 12, the flange 50 of the housing 40 engages the back plate 12. The engagement between the flange 50 and the back plate 12 prevents further movement of the housing 40 with respect to the back plate 12. Therefore, further movement of the flange portion 54 of the actuating member 46 towards the back plate 12, for example by pushing the display module 14 towards the back plate 12, slides the shaft portion 52 of the actuating member 46 further into the housing 40. When the shaft portion 52 slides further into the housing 40 the first and second resilient members 56, 58 push the bell cranks 59 of the first and second latching members 24, 26 into the latched positions. The process is reversed when the flange portion 54 of the actuating member 46 is moved away from the back plate 12, for example by pulling the display module 14 away from the back plate 12. That is, moving the flange portion 54 of the actuating member 46 away from the back plate 12 returns the first and second latching members 24, 26 to the unlatched positions.

When the connector 22 is attached to the back plate 12, the first electrical contact 64 contacts the first electrically conductive layer 30 of the back plate 12 and the second electrical contact 70 contacts the second electrically conductive layer 32 of the back plate 12. Therefore, the connector 22 can be used to transfer electrical power from the power supply 20 to the display module 14. For example, first and second electrical wires may be used to connect the first and second electrical terminals 66, 72 of the connector 22 to an electrical circuit of the display module 14.

Figure 7 shows two phantom views of the connector 22 to more clearly illustrate the first electrical contact 64, the first electrical terminal 66, the electrically conductive portion 68, the second electrical contact 70 and the second electrical terminal 72.