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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
SHELVING ASSEMBLY
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/129580
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The present invention relates to a shelving assembly for storing and displaying goods. The assembly includes a carrier for carrying a plurality of goods and one or more weighted units. Each weighted unit having a carrier mount for mounting and securing the respective weighted unit to the carrier and preventing inadvertent removal of the weighted unit from the carrier. The carrier has an angled base so as to facilitate sliding of the goods and the one or more weighted units towards a front end of the carrier.

Inventors:
VANOS, Jayben (C/- Shop 5, 822-824 Anzac ParadeMaroubra, NSW 2035, AU)
Application Number:
AU2018/000001
Publication Date:
July 19, 2018
Filing Date:
January 10, 2018
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
IDESIGN INNOVATIONS PTY LTD (Shop 5, 822-824 Anzac ParadeMaroubra, NSW 2035, AU)
International Classes:
A47F1/12; A47F5/00
Foreign References:
US6234328B12001-05-22
US5026129A1991-06-25
US5992653A1999-11-30
DE19722392A11998-12-03
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
CHAN, Allen et al. (Chrysiliou IP, 114-115 Biztek20 Dale Stree, Brookvale NSW 2100, AU)
Download PDF:
Claims:
The claims defining the invention are as follows:

1. A shelving assembly for storing and displaying goods, the assembly including a carrier for carrying a plurality of goods, and

one or more weighted units, each weighted unit having a carrier mount for mounting and securing the respective weighted unit to the carrier and preventing inadvertent removal of the weighted unit from the carrier,

the carrier having an angled base so as to facilitate sliding of the goods and the one or more weighted units towards a front end of the carrier.

2. The shelving assembly of claim 1, wherein carrier mount includes a guide arm for guiding the corresponding weighted unit along a defined path on the carrier.

3. The shelving assembly according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the carrier mount includes an enlarged end portion for engagement with an interlocking guide slot of the carrier, and wherein the enlarged end portion is slidable along the guide slot to permit the weighted unit to slide along the carrier, and secured within the guide slot so as to prevent inadvertent removal of the weighted unit during use.

4. The shelving assembly of claim 3, wherein the enlarged end portion of the carrier mount can be inserted into and removed from the interlocking guide slot via an opening proximate a rear end of the guide slot. 5. The shelving assembly according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the length of the angled base is adjustable by connecting together or separating two or more like interlocking base modules.

6. The shelving assembly of any one of claims 3 to 5, wherein the enlarged end portion is in the shape of a sphere or arrowhead.

7. The shelving assembly of claim 5, which includes a front panel with downwardly extending engaging means which are detachably connectable to the base modules. 8. The shelving assembly of any one of the preceding wherein the shelving assembly includes two pairs of adjustable side panels, each pair of side panels including top and bottom panels.

9. The shelving assembly of claim 8, wherein each of the top and bottom panels includes interlocking means adapted to facilitate engagement with one another.

10. The shelving assembly of claim 9, wherein the interlocking means of the top panel includes a column of holes, the interlocking means of the bottom panel including a hook, the hook being capable of interlocking with one of the holes.

11. The shelving assembly of any one of claims 8 to 10, wherein each of top and bottom panels also includes fastening means adapted to enable securing of the top panel to the bottom panel once they are interlocked with one another at a chosen level.

12. The shelving assembly of claim 11, wherein the fastening means includes one or more tabs provided towards the back of each of the top and bottom panels and a bolt adapted to bind the chosen tabs together. 13. A shelving assembly capable of filling vacancies automatically, the shelving assembly including a base plate for placing merchandise, the base plate being arranged in an inclined manner and provided with a pusher means adapted to push merchandise from an upper portion of the base plate to a lower portion of the base plate, wherein each pusher means is provided with a guiding element and the base plate is provided with a plurality of guiding grooves adapted to facilitate sliding of the guiding element.

14. The shelving assembly of claim 1, wherein one end of the guiding groove adjacent to the upper portion of the base plate is provided with an entrance hole for facilitating insertion of the guiding element, and wherein the entrance hole is in communication with the guiding groove.

15. The shelving assembly of either claim 13 or 14, wherein the base plate has an outer side provided with a shielding assembly.

16. The shelving assembly of claim 15, wherein the shielding assembly includes a front plate, a top plate and two side plates, the two side plates being arranged at two ends of the front plate respectively and the top plate being arranged above the front plate, wherein the front plate, the top plate and the two side plates are connected to one another and cooperatively form an opening for taking merchandise. 17. The shelving assembly of any one of the preceding claims, wherein an angle adjustment assembly is provided at the upper portion of the base plate.

18. The shelving assembly of claim 17, wherein the angle adjustment assembly includes an adjustment member and a fixed member, the adjustment member being provided at the upper portion of the base plate and threadably connected to the fixed member, wherein the upper portion of the adjustment member is bent to form an inclined surface.

19. The shelving assembly of claim 18, wherein the fixed member is provided with a bolt, the adjustment member being provided with an adjustment hole for receiving the bolt, wherein the bolt is secured to the adjustment hole by a nut.

20. The shelving assembly of any one of claims 13 to 19, wherein the pusher means is a pusher carriage, the guiding element being located beneath the pusher carriage.

Description:
Shelving Assembly

Technical Field

[0001] The invention described herein relates to a shelving assembly for storing and displaying goods. In particular, the shelving assembly is adapted for storing and displaying goods for sale in a supermarket or general store, although the scope of the invention is not necessarily limited thereto.

Background Art

[0002] In many retail stores, goods are arranged on shelves and are readily accessible by customers. In conventional shelving systems, the goods can easily become untidy or stuck in hard to reach places, which can undesirably lead to 'mark- downs' or loss or sales.

[0003] Some existing shelving systems include spring loaded mechanisms for keeping the displayed goods in tidy columns and pushing the goods of each column forward. Once the forward-most item is removed, a spring pushing against the column of goods pushes the remaining goods forward so that the next item can be accessed. Whilst such a mechanism ensure that goods are always pushed forward on the shelf, it can often be difficult for costumers to push against the action of the spring to return an item into the display assembly. In addition, springs are prone to breakage and entanglement with the goods, undesirable causing the assembly to malfunction and high maintenance costs to the retailer.

[0004] Embodiments of the invention may provide a shelving assembly which overcomes or ameliorates one or more of the disadvantages or problems described above, or which at least provides the consumer with a useful choice.

Summary of the Invention

[0007] According to one aspect of the invention, there is provided a shelving assembly for storing and displaying goods, the assembly including a carrier for carrying a plurality of goods, and one or more weighted units, each weighted unit having a carrier mount for mounting and securing the respective weighted unit to the carrier and preventing inadvertent removal of the weighted unit from the carrier, the carrier having an angled base so as to facilitate sliding of the goods and the one or more weighted units towards a front end of the carrier.

[0008] Advantageously, the one or more weighted units of the shelving assembly pushes the displayed goods towards a forward end of the shelf by action of gravity, thereby providing a simple and cost effective solution to untidy display of goods and goods being placed in hard to reach places.

[0009] The carrier mount may include a guide arm for guiding the corresponding weighted unit along a defined path on the carrier.

[0010] The carrier mount may include an enlarged end portion for engagement with an interlocking guide slot of the carrier, and wherein the enlarged end portion is slidable along the guide slot to permit the weighted unit to slide along the carrier, and secured within the guide slot so as to prevent inadvertent removal of the weighted unit during use.

[0011] The enlarged end portion of the carrier mount may be inserted into and removed from the interlocking guide slot via an opening proximate a rear end of the guide slot.

[0012] Typically, the carrier mount includes an elongate guide arm projecting downwardly from a body of the weighted unit, and the enlarged end portion at a distal or lower end of the elongate guide arm.

[0013] Preferably, the enlarged end portion is in the form of an arrowhead. Optionally, the enlarged end portion is in the form of sphere.

[0014] The base can be any suitable shape and size. Preferably, the carrier has a generally rectangular base having a front side, a rear side, and two lateral sides extending between the front and rear sides. The rear side is elevated relative to the front side to create an angled upper surface for the base. The elevation of the rear side with respect to the front side may vary to thereby vary the degree of inclination of the angled upper surface.

[0015] The base may include one or more guide slots, each guide slot extending from a front side to a rear side of the base. Each guide slot may further include an enlarged opening proximate a rear end thereof so that the enlarged end portion of the carrier mount can be easily inserted or removed as desired. Each guide slot may retain the carrier mount of a corresponding weighted unit whilst permitting the carrier mount to slide therethrough.

[0016] The length of the angled base may be adjustable by connecting together or separating two or more like interlocking base modules. Each lateral side of a base module may include connecting mechanisms to allow connection with other like base modules to form a larger base. Any suitable connecting mechanisms may be used. For example, lateral sides may include protrusions and recesses to allow adjacent base modules to engage with one another. Advantageously, the size of the base can be easily changed and adapted to fit with existing shelfing systems of any dimension by connecting any suitable number of base modules together. For example, each base module may have a length of about 300mm. Combining two or more similar modules may therefore provide larger bases having an overall length of 600mm, 900mm, 1200mm, 2400mm and so forth. The base may therefore be modular so that an assembly of any size to suit the size of the goods to be carried and the size of the display shelf, for example in a supermarket.

[0017] The base may be configured to receive one or more dividers for dividing the base into two or more columns. The base may be configured to receive the dividers at any interval along a lengthwise direction of the base. The base may include one or more recesses for receiving the one or more dividers. An upper surface of the base may define a plurality of slots immediately adjacent one another for receiving the one or more dividers at any position along the base. In addition, the upper surface of the base may define a pair of openings disposed adjacent opposite ends of each slot for receiving corresponding protrusions of each divider. Advantageously, the width of each column may be adjusted according to the size of the goods to be carried. The width of each column may be adjusted such that the goods can be stacked in a single file in each column from the front side to the rear side of the base.

[0018] The carrier may further include a pair of side panels for mounting to the base. The panels may be mounted to the lateral sides of the base.

[0019] The carrier may further include a front panel for mounting to the front side of the base. The front panel may be transparent to allow visual inspection of the good through the front panel. [0020] The shelf assembly may further include a cover. The cover may cover a rear portion of the carrier. The cover may have a generally L-shaped profile for covering a rear side of the carrier and a portion of an upper side of the carrier. The cover may have a front side proximate the front side of the base. An opening may be defined by a space between the cover and the carrier. The opening may be located between the front side of the cover and a front side of the carrier. More particularly, the opening may be located between the front side of the cover and the front panel of the carrier. The opening allows valuable goods to be accessed one at a time so as to prevent large scale theft.

[0021] The various components of the assembly, including the one or more base modules, side panels, front panel and cover may be fastened together using any suitable means. For example, the components may be press fitted together, clipped together, slide fitted together, fastened together using clips, pins, nuts and bolts and the like, or any combination thereof.

[0022] The shelving assembly may be stacked in an upright manner with other like shelving assemblies to form a larger shelving assembly, or shelving assembly tower including a plurality of shelf levels. The shelving assembly can be clipped together in any suitable manner. For example a first shelving assembly may include protrusions on an upper portion for engagement with recesses on a lower portion of a second shelving assembly, or vice versa.

[0023] Each weighted unit may include one or more wheels to facilitate ease of movement. The weighted unit may further include one or more weighted blocks, such as lead weights, and a housing for housing the weighted blocks. The weighted unit may be positioned behind the last goods item in each column such that when a goods item is removed from the front of the column, the weight of the remaining goods on the angled base and that of the weighted unit act together to move the remaining goods towards the front of the carrier. Advantageously. The weighted unit is secured to the carrier via the carrier mount in use so as to prevent removal or displacement of the weighted unit.

[0024] Each weighted unit may include a plurality of weight blocks. The number of weight blocks may be varied to vary the total weight of the weight unit. Advantageously, this allows each weight unit to be easily adapted to suit the size and weight of the particular goods to be stored. For example, a larger weight unit including more weight blocks may be used for an assembly for storing light weight goods which may require more assistance in sliding towards the opening under action of gravity. Heavier weight blocks may also be used for bulky goods so as to prevent any goods from being stuck in the assembly and failing to reach the opening during use. Conversely, lighter weighted units may be used for heavier or other suitably sized and weighted goods to ensure that all goods travel to the opening in an effective manner when the front-most positioned goods item(s) is/are retrieved from the assembly.

[0025] The weighted unit may include a housing having graphics on a front panel. Any suitable graphics may be used, for example, the graphics may include logos of one or more brands, the one or more brands may be associated with the goods displayed. During use, when the goods in a particular column on the shelving assembly becomes empty, the weighted unit slides forward without obstruction so that the graphics is in full view, serving as a useful notification or reminder that the column requires restocking. In this manner, empty columns are highly visible and can be easily identified by retail staff, so as to reduce time between the restocking of goods for sale, thereby reducing down time, increasing efficiency and promoting higher volume sales.

[0026] In order that the invention may be more readily understood and put into practice, one or more preferred embodiments thereof will now be described, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings.

[0027] Reference throughout this specification to One embodiment' or 'an embodiment' means that a particular feature, structure, or characteristic described in connection with the embodiment is included in at least one embodiment of the present invention. Thus, the appearance of the phrases 'in one embodiment' or 'in an embodiment' in various places throughout this specification are not necessarily all referring to the same embodiment. Furthermore, the particular features, structures, or characteristic described herein may be combined in any suitable manner in one or more combinations.

Brief Description of the Drawings [0028] Figure 1 is a perspective view of a shelving assembly according to an embodiment of the present invention. [0029] Figure 2 is an exploded assembly view of the shelving assembly of Figure 1.

[0030] Figure 2a is an exploded perspective view of the shelving assembly of Figure 1 with a different front panel.

[0031] Figure 2b is a side view of the front panel of Figure 2a. [0032] Figure 3 is a side view of the assembly of Figure 1 showing hidden detail of a weighted unit mounted to the carrier via a carrier mount.

[0033] Figure 4 is a top view illustrating an upper face of the carrier of the assembly of Figure 1.

[0034] Figure 5a is a perspective view of a weighted unit of the assembly as shown in Figure 1.

[0035] Figure 5b is a rear view of the weighted unit shown in Figure 5a.

[0036] Figure 5c is a cross sectional side view of the weighted unit shown in Figure 5a.

[0037] Figure 5d is a side view of the weighted unit shown in Figure 5a. [0038] Figure 5e is a front view of the weighted unit shown in Figure 5a.

[0039] Figure 5f is a bottom view of the weighted unit shown in Figure 5a.

[0040] Figure 5g is a top view of the weighted unit shown in Figure 5a.

[0041] Figure 5h is a front isometric view of the weighted unit shown in Figure 5a.

[0042] Figure 6 are perspective views of a pair of shelving assembly towers including a plurality of like shelving assemblies stacked together in a generally upright manner.

[0043] Figure 7 is an exploded perspective view of the shelving assembly of Figure 1 with a different embodiment of side panels.

[0044] Figure 8 is a perspective view of a top side panel of Figure 7. [0045] Figure 9 is a perspective view of a bottom side panel of Figure 7.

[0046] Figure 10 is perspective view of the top and bottom side panels being in engagement with one another.

[0047] Figure 11 is an internal structural view of a shelving assembly according to a further embodiment of the present invention.

[0048] Figure 12 is a schematic view showing the overall structure of the shelving assembly of Figure 11.

[0049] Figure 13 is a schematic view showing the overall structure of the shelving assembly of Figure 11 from the rear.

[0050] Figure 14 is an exploded schematic view of the shelving assembly of Figure 11.

[0051] Figure 15 is a side view of the shelving assembly of Figure 11.

[0052] Figure 16 is a schematic structural view of a spacer plate of the shelving assembly of Figure 11.

[0053] Figure 17 is an exploded view of a base plate of the shelving assembly of Figure 11.

[0054] Figure 18 is an internal structural view of the shelving assembly of Figure 11.

[0055] Figure 19 is a schematic view showing the overall structure of the shelving assembly of Figure 11.

[0056] Figure 20 is an exploded schematic view of a pusher carriage of the shelving assembly of Figure 11.

[0057] Figure 21 is an exploded perspective view of the shelving assembly of Figure 14 including pusher means. [0058] Figure 22 is a perspective view illustrating installation of the shelving assembly of Figure 11.

Detailed Description of Preferred Embodiments

[0059] It should be noted that 'weighted units' and 'pusher means' are meant to refer to the same components and thus are used interchangeably in different embodiments described below.

[0060] One embodiment of the shelving assembly 100 is shown in Figure 1 and 2. The assembly 100 includes a carrier 102 for carrying a plurality of goods (not shown). The assembly 100 also includes a cover 106 which covers a large portion of the carrier 102 and thus the goods when the carrier is full. An opening 108 is provided between the carrier 102 and the cover 106 allowing a limited number of goods 104 to be accessible at any single time.

[0061] The assembly 100 can be mounted on, and support by, a standard retail shelf (not shown). As more clearly shown in Figure 2, the assembly 100 has a length adjustable base and is configured for mounting to a range of different sized retail shelves. Advantageously, the assembly 100 can be readily and conveniently adopted in retail outlets without significant re-arrangement of existing display shelves. This configuration of the assembly 100 also provides a level of flexibility in the retail store's display arrangement as the assembly 100 does not require fastening to a fixed location. The assembly 100 can therefore be effortlessly moved to any suitable location of the retail store.

[0062] Now referring to Figure 2, the carrier 102 includes a base 122 having an angled upper surface 124. In the particular embodiment shown, the base 122 includes three like base modules 126a, 126b, 126c (collectively referred to herein as '126') interlocked together. The base 122 can include any suitable number of base modules 126 to match the size of the store shelf on which the assembly 100 is to be mounted. In one embodiment, the length of a single base module 126 is approximately 300mm. Combining two base modules 126 together will therefore provide a base 122 having a length of 600mm; combining three base modules 126 together will provide a base 122 having a length of 900mm as shown in figures 1 and 2; combining four base modules 126 together will provide a base 122 having a length of 1200mm; combining eight base modules 126 together will provide a base 122 having a length of 2400mm, and so forth. The modularised configuration of the base 122 advantageously allows the assembly 100 to be easily adaptable for a range of differently sized shelves, which provides significant cost savings compared with other storage and display assemblies which must be custom built to fit the available space.

[0063] The base modules 126 can be interlocked together via any suitable means. As shown in Figure 2, base module 126c includes a pair of protrusions 128 on a lateral side 130, which are received in a pair of corresponding recesses (hidden) on a corresponding lateral side 132 of adjacent base module 126b. Base module 126b is connected to base module 126a in a similar manner.

[0064] Each base module 126 is generally rectangular when viewed from an elevated position. Each base module 126 has two lateral sides for connection with adjacent base modules 126, a front side 136 and a rear side 138. (The front 136 and rear 138 sides are defined relative to the placement of the assembly 100 on a shelf. The front side 136 faces the customer accessing the goods whilst the rear side 138 faces away from the customer.) The rear side 138 is elevated relative to the front side 136 so as to create an angled upper surface 124. The amount by which the rear side 138 is elevated relative to the front side 136 can vary to create vary the degree of inclination of the angled upper surface 124. In one embodiment, the degree of inclination is roughly 12 9 .

[0065] The angled surface 124 advantageously allows the goods to automatically slide towards the front side 136 of the base 122 and thus the opening 108 under action of gravity. The angled surface 124 thereby avoids use of various costly spring loaded devices which actively push the goods towards an opening, which can be prone to breakage and malfunction.

[0066] The carrier 102 further includes side panels 140, 142 for mounting to lateral sides 145, 146 of the base 122. Any suitable fastening means can be used to attach the side panels 140, 142 to the base 122. For example, each panel 140, 142 is attached to a respective lateral side 145, 146 using nuts and bolts, or like fasteners.

[0067] The carrier 102 further includes a front panel 150 mounted adjacent the front side 136 of the base 122. In particular, the front panel 150 is inserted into a slot 152 which runs parallel with the front side 136 of the base 122. The front panel 150 is transparent to allow visual inspection of the goods 104 in the carrier 102 therethrough.

[0068] The carrier 102 further includes a plurality of dividers 144 which divide the carrier 102 into a plurality of columns 146. The position of the dividers 144 and thus the width of the columns 146 can be adjusted according to the size of each of the goods to be carried. A plurality of slots 148 are provided on the upper surface 124 of the base 122 to receive the dividers 144 therein (more clearly shown in Figure 4). Recesses 152, 154 are also provided adjacent opposite ends of each slot 148 to receive end protrusions of each divider 144 (hidden). Any suitable number of dividers 144 can therefore be inserted into any one of the slots 148 on the base 122.

[0069] As more clearly shown in Figure 1, the goods can be arranged in a single file in each column facing the front panel 150 and the opening 108. Advantageously, the carrier 102 can be conveniently adjusted to carry any sized goods, which provides further cost savings as the assembly 100 does not have to be custom built for goods of a specific size.

[0070] As shown in Figures 1 and 2, the cover 106 has a generally L-shaped profile. The cover 106 is fitted over an upper portion of the carrier 102 and over the rear side 138 of the base 122. The cover 106 is assembled by inserting lateral side portions 156, 158 in corresponding slots 160, 162 of side panels 140, 142. In addition, the cover 106 is secured adjacent the rear side 138 of the base 122 via bolts 164. As more clearly shown in Figures 1 and 2, the opening 108 is located between the cover 106 and the front panel 150. The cover 106 is transparent so as to allow visual inspection of the goods 104 in the assembly 100 (see Figure 1). The size of the cover 106 and side panels 140, 142, to accommodate goods of different heights. The cover 106 may include one or more lights (not shown) to provide decoration and/or illumination for the displayed goods.

[0071] In some embodiments, the assembly 100 does not include a cover 106. In certain applications, goods displayed on the shelf assembly 100 may be partially covered by the shelf above, in which case a cover 106 is not required. In some applications, it may be desirable to display the goods in each column without a cover so as to allow the costumer to select the goods with ease. [0072] As shown in Figure 3, the assembly 100 also includes a weighted unit 200 for locating at the back and behind each column 146 of goods. Under the effects of gravity, each weighted unit 200 has a tendency to move from the higher rear side 138 of the base 122 towards the lower front side 136 and thus the opening 108. The weighted units 200 therefore facilitate movement of the goods towards a front side 136 of the carrier 102.

[0073] As shown in Figures 5a, 5b and 5c, each weighted unit 200 includes a housing 204, and three wheels 206. The wheels 206 facilitate movement of the weighted unit 200 towards the lower front side 136 of the base 122. The weighted unit 200 further includes weight blocks 208 enclosed by the housing 204. The weight blocks 208 provides the necessary weight for the weighted unit 200 to function effectively. The weighted unit 200 can be of any suitable size to suit the specific application and nature of goods to be displayed on the shelving assembly 100.

[0074] As shown in Figure 3, the weighted unit 200 is mounted and secured to the carrier 102 via a carrier mount 300 extending downwardly from a body of the weighted unit 200 (Also see Figures 5a to 5h).

[0075] As more clearly shown in Figure 5c, the carrier mount 300 projects downwardly from a rear side of the weighted unit 200. In particular, the carrier mount 300 includes a guide arm 302 extending from the body of the weighted unit 200, and an enlarged end portion 304 proximate a lower end of the guide arm 302.

[0076] As shown in Figure 4, a plurality of guide slots 310 is provided on the upper face of the base 122. Each guide slot is elongated and includes an enlarged opening 312 at one end proximate a rear side 138 of the base 122.

[0077] During assembly, once the size of the columns and the location of the weighted units 200 are determined, each carrier mount 300 is inserted into a corresponding guide slot 310 via the enlarged opening 312, which is sized to receive the enlarged end portion 304 of the carrier mount 300. The carrier mount 300 is then allowed the slide within the guide slot 310 towards the front end 136, thereby allowing the weighted unit 200 to slide under gravity. The enlarged end portion 304, which is in the shape of a sphere, is securely held within the guide slot 310 once it moves beyond the enlarged opening 312 as the width of the guide slot 310 is narrowed, whilst allowing the weighted unit 200 to slide as required to move the goods forward during use.

[0078] Referring to Figures 5i, 5j and 5k ; another preferred embodiment of the carrier 102A is shown having a carrier mount 300A hanging off the middle of the underside of the carrier 102A. The carrier 102A has an enlarged end portion 304A which is in the shape of an arrowhead.

[0079] The carrier mount 300 advantageously allows the weighted units 200 to slide under gravity to push the goods by following a defined path of a corresponding guide slot 310. The configuration of the guide slot 310 to secure the carrier mount 300 prevents undesirable removal or displacement of the weighted units 200 during use.

[0080] Now referring to Figure 6, which illustrates a pair of shelving tower assemblies 600. Each tower assembly 600 includes six levels, each level being a shelving assembly 100 as previous described. The shelving assemblies 100 are stacked on top of one another in an upright manner to form the larger shelving tower assembly 600. The shelving assemblies 100 can be clipped together in any suitable manner. For example a lower shelving assembly may include protrusions on an upper portion thereof for engagement with recesses on a lower portion of an adjacent upper shelving assembly 100, or vice versa.

[0081] Furthermore, a front side 136 of each shelving assembly 100 may be slightly offset from the adjacent shelving assembly 100 below and/or above it. As shown in Figure 6, the shelving assembly 100" immediately above the bottom-most shelving assembly 100' is slightly offset horizontally so that a front side 136 of shelving assembly 100" is shifted rearwardly with respect to the front side 136 bottom-most shelving assembly 100'. In other words, the front side 136 and the goods near the front side 136 of the shelving assembly 100' are more exposed in the offset arrangement. The front side 136 of shelving assembly 100"' immediately above shelving assembly 100" is also offset from that of shelving assembly 100" in a similar manner, and so forth. Advantageously, the goods stored in each shelving assembly 100 of the tower 600 can be more readily accessed by a costumer.

[0082] Referring to Figures 2a, the assembly 100 of the present invention may have an alternative form of front panel 150a. As shown in Figure 2b, the front panel 150a is in the form of a visor with multiple downwardly extending engaging means 10. Each engaging means 10 is in the form a catchment providing a shoulder 12 for engagement with a corresponding part of the base modules 126a and b. As such, the engaging means 10 can be easily attached to and detached from base modules 126a and b as desired by the user.

[0083] Turning to Figures 7 to 10, another embodiment of the shelving assembly 100 is shown with each of the side panels 140 & 142 being replaced by two pairs of top and bottom side panels 80 & 82 and 84 & 86, respectively. Panels 84 & 86 are mirror images of panels 80 & 82 and thus only one pair of panels 80 & 82 will be described herein. Each of the top and bottom panels 80, 82 includes interlocking means adapted to facilitate engagement with one another. As shown in Figures 8 and 9, the interlocking means of the top panel 80 includes a column of holes 84 whereas the interlocking means of the bottom panel includes a hook 86. As best shown in Figure 10, the hook 86 is capable of interlocking with one of the holes 84. As such, the top and bottom panels 80 & 82 are adjusted to overlap with one another at a desired level. In order to adjust height of the shelving assembly 100 to a different level, it is required to disengage the hook 86 from the current hole 84, move one of the panels 80 or 82 vertically with respect to one another to another desired level and then engage the hook 86 with another chosen hole 84. As best shown in Figures 7 to 9, each of top and bottom panels 80, 82 also includes fastening means adapted to enable securing of the top panel 80 to the bottom panel 82 once they are interlocked with one another at a chosen level. The fastening means include tabs 88 & 90 provided towards the back of each of the top and bottom panels 80 & 82, and a bolt 92 adapted to bind the chosen tabs 88, 90 together.

[0084] Referring to Figures 11 to 16, 21 and 22, a further embodiment 10 of the shelving assembly of the present invention capable of automatically filling vacancies is provided. Referring to Figure 11, the shelving assembly 10 has a base plate 1 for placing merchandise. The base plate 1 is arranged in an inclined manner and is provided with pusher means 21 adapted to push merchandise from an upper portion of the base plate 1 to a lower portion of the base plate 1. Each pusher means 21 is provided with a guiding element (as shown in previous embodiments described above) while the base plate 1 is provided with a plurality of guiding grooves 11 provided for sliding of the guiding element 3. During operation, the user is to first push the pusher means 21 to the upper portion of the base plate 1 and the pusher means 21 is arranged in an inclined manner. Then the merchandise is arranged in an order and placed on the base plate 1. The merchandise is placed at the upper portion of the base plate 1 abutting against the pusher means. When a customer takes merchandise in the lower portion of the base plate 1, a vacancy becomes available at the lower portion of the base plate 1. As a consequence, the inclined pusher means 21 pushes the merchandise to the lower portion of the base plate 1, thereby realising the function of automatic vacancy-filling. It should be noted that during the movement of the pusher means 21, the guiding element 3 slides along the pusher means 3 in the guiding groove 11 so that the movement of the pusher means 3 does not deviate from the course, ensuring that the merchandise is pushed along a fixed path. Specifically, a plurality of guiding grooves 11 are arranged in parallel.

[0085] Referring to Figure 17, in the present embodiment, the guiding groove 11 is provided with an entrance hole 12 at one end thereof adjacent to the upper portion of the base plate 1 for facilitating insertion of the guiding element 3. The entrance hole 12 is communicated with the guiding groove 11. When there is a need to mount the pusher means 21 on the base plate 1, the user only needs to insert the guiding element 3 into the entrance hole 12 which would then enable the guiding element 3 to slide in the guiding groove 11. When there is a need to disassemble the pusher means 21 from the base plate 1, the user only needs to push the pusher means 21 upward to the entrance hole 12 and then draw out the guiding element 3 from the entrance hole 12 in order to complete the disassembling process. The guiding element 3 is provided with a protrusion 21 for abutting the guiding groove 11. When the guiding element 3 slides within the guiding groove 11, the protrusion 31 serves to prevent the guiding element 3 from disengaging from the guiding groove 11 which may result in failure of the guiding function.

[0086] Turning to Figure 14, a shielding assembly 5 is provided on the outer side of the base plate 1. The shielding assembly 5 is configured to provide protection for the merchandise. Referring to Figures 11 to 13, the shielding assembly 5 has a front plate 51, a top plate 52 and two side plates 53. The two side plates 53 are arranged at two ends of the front plate 51 respectively and the top plate 52 is located above the front plate 51. The front plate 51, the top plate 52 and the two side plates 53 are connected to one another and cooperatively form an opening for taking merchandise. The shielding assembly 5 is configured for constraining customers so that customers can only reach the merchandise from the opening. This prevents customers from trying to extract the merchandise from other directions which may mess up the merchandise. In addition, the shape and the size of the opening are tailored made to accommodate specific merchandise so that customers can get only one merchandise at a time. It is anticipated that it will at least take a long time for customers to take a plurality of merchandise even if they try to do so. This would prevent the merchandise from being stolen in a short time period thereby increasing the anti-theft performance.

[0087] Referring to Figures 13, 21 and 22, an angle adjustment assembly 6 is arranged and provided at the upper portion of the base plate 1. The angle adjustment assembly 6 is so configured to adjust the inclination angle of the base plate 1. More specifically, the greater the inclination angle of the base plate 1 is, the heavier merchandise the pusher means 21 can push forward. Referring to Figures 13 to 15, the angle adjustment assembly 6 has an adjustment member 61 and a fixed member 62. The adjustment member 61 is arranged and provided at an upper end of the fixed member 62 being threadably connected to the fixed member 62. The upper portion of the adjustment member 61 is bent to form an inclined surface. Specifically, the inclined surface is adapted to join and secure the upper portion of the base plate 1 so that the base plate 1 can be arranged in an inclined manner. When a different inclination angle of the base plate 1 is required, only the portion of the adjustment member 61 needs to be adjusted with respect to the fixed member 62. As shown in Figure 15, the adjustment member 61 can be moved sideway to the left or right and re-anchored to the fixed member. Then the upper portion of the base plate 1 can be secured to the inclined surface. By doing so, adjustment of the inclination angle of the base plate 1 can be realised. The fixed member 62 may then be anchored to a horizontal platform.

[0088] As shown in Figure 13, the fixed member 62 is provided with a bolt 621. The adjustment member 61 is provided with an adjustment hole 611 for receiving the bolt 621. The bolt 621 can be secured to the adjustment hole 611 by a nut. The adjustment hole 611 is provided to enable adjustment of the relative position between the adjustment member 61 and the fixed member 62. The bolt 621 and the nut serve the function of securing the adjustment member 61 to the fixed member 62.

[0089] Referring to Figure 17, the shelving assembly 10 also has an engaging bar 7 for engaging at least one base plate 1. When there is a plurality of base plates 1, the engaging bar 7 can be used to engage and secure the plurality of base plates 1 so as to extend the overall length of the base plate, which facilitates placement of merchandise of large sizes. The engaging bar 7 is provided with a plurality of fastening blocks 71. The base plate 1 has two fastening groove 13 at two respective sides corresponding to the fastening blocks 71. The fastening block 71 is engaged with the fastening groove 13 so that the base plate 1 can be secured to the engaging bar 7. A fastening member 4 for securing the adjacent base plate 1 is further provided. The upper portion of the base plate 1 is provided with a plurality of fastening holes 14 for engaging the fastening member 4.

[0090] As shown in Figures 12 to 14, the display rack further includes a spacer plate 8 for separating the display space. The spacer plate 8 is in engagement with the base plate 1. Based on the size of the placed merchandise, the spacer plate 8 is configured to separate the base plate 1 into multiple display rooms. By doing so, the shelving assembly 10 is versatile and flexible being able to accommodate various sizes of the merchandise so as to increase the capability of the base plate 1 for receiving various kinds of merchandise. It is contemplated that both ends of the spacer plate 8 are provided with a fixing block 81. The upper portion and lower portion of the base plate 1 are provided with a fixing hold 15 for engaging with the fixing block 81, respectively. The fixing block 81 and fixing hole 15 are arranged such that the spacer plate 8 can be placed in parallel with the guiding groove.

[0091] Referring to Figures 18 to 20, the pusher means 21 in this embodiment is a pusher carriage 22. The guiding element 3 is located beneath the pusher carriage 22. Since the base plate 2 is situated in an inclined manner, the pusher carriage 22 serves to push the merchandise from the upper portion of the base plate 1 to the lower portion of the base plate 1 in order to achieve the automatic vacancy-filling function. The guiding element 3 is configured to prevent the pusher from disengaging from the course. Referring to Figure 20, the pusher carriage 22 is further provided with a weight receiving space 221. In the case of the merchandise having a great weight, the weight receiving space 221 may carry a weight 223 to increase the overall weight of the pusher carriage 22 in order to increase the thrust of the pusher carriage 22 against the merchandise. As shown in Figure 20, one end of the weight receiving space 221 is provided with a pushing plate 222. The pushing plate is used to abut against the merchandise when the pusher carriage 22 pushes the merchandise. Turning back to Figure 17, a plurality of spacer bars 16 is arranged between the adjacent guiding grooves 11. The spacer bars 16 are used to prevent the pusher carriage 22 from deviating away from its course when the pusher carriage is in motion.

[0092] Those skilled in the art will appreciate that the invention described herein is susceptible to variations and modifications other than those specifically described. All such variations and modifications are to be considered within the scope and spirit of the present invention the nature of which is to be determined from the foregoing description. It is also to be understood that the terminology employed herein is for the purpose of description and should not be regarded as limiting.

[0093] The term "comprise" and variants of that term such as "comprises" or "comprising" are used herein to denote the inclusion of a stated integer or integers but not to exclude any other integer or any other integers, unless in the context or usage an exclusive interpretation of the term is required.

[0094] Reference to prior art disclosures in this specification is not an admission that the disclosures constitute common general knowledge.