Patent application title: METHOD OF STAGING INVENTORY
James H. Johnson, Jr. (Lexington, KY, US)
IPC8 Class: AE04H300FI
Class name: Merchandising customer service store service
Publication date: 2009-12-17
Patent application number: 20090308693
A method for staging product inventory includes the steps of placing an
inventory staging structure adjacent a retail store, marketing
advertising space on the structure and staging inventory in the
1. A method for staging inventory, comprising:an inventory staging
structure adjacent a retail store;marketing advertising space on said
storage structure; andstaging said inventory in said structure.
2. The method of claim 1, wherein said staging includes:unloading said inventory from a vehicle into said storage structure;storing said inventory in said storage structure for a period of time; andmoving at least a portion of said inventory from said storage structure into said retail store.
3. The method of claim 1, wherein said staging includes:unloading said inventory from a vehicle into said storage structure;storing said inventory in said storage structure for a period of time; andselling at least a portion of said inventory directly from said structure.
4. The method of claim 1, including locating said structure in a parking lot adjacent said retail store.
5. The method of claim 1, further including customizing an exterior of said structure to incorporate trade dress or building architecture of said retail store.
6. The method of claim 1, further including providing climate control for an internal space in said structure.
7. The method of claim 1, further including illuminating advertising provided on said structure.
8. The method of claim 1, including providing short range radio advertising in a limited area around said structure.
9. The method of claim 1, further including constructing said structure from modular building materials.
10. The method of claim 9, including removing said structure after a predetermined period of time.
11. The method of claim 10, including reusing said structure at a different location.
12. The method of claim 1, including providing said structure with a projecting roof cap and down lighting advertising provided on a wall of said structure with a light source carried by said roof cap.
13. The method of claim 1, including providing back lighting for advertising on said structure.
This application claims the benefit of U.S. provisional patent
applications Ser. Nos. 60/702,476 filed on 26 Jul. 2005 and 60/771,371
filed on 8 Feb. 2006.
The present invention relates generally to the storage and outdoor advertising fields and more particularly to a method for staging inventory.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
Many retailers sell a large volume of product but have only limited storage space in the store for holding inventory. Often such retailers resort to holding inventory in trailers parked in the store parking lot.
The present invention relates to a method of staging inventory and generating new advertising revenue.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
In accordance with the purposes of the present invention as described herein, a method is provided for staging inventory. The method comprises the steps of placing an inventory staging structure adjacent a retail store, marketing advertising space on that structure and staging inventory in that structure. The staging of inventory may include unloading inventory from a vehicle into the storage structure, storing inventory in the storage structure for a period of time and moving at least a portion of the inventory from the storage structure into the retail store or selling at least a portion of the inventory directly from the storage structure. Preferably the structure is located in a parking lot adjacent the retail store.
The method may also include the customizing of the exterior of the structure to incorporate trade dress or building architecture of the retail store. Further the method may include providing climate control for an internal space in the structure.
In accordance with yet additional aspects, the method may include illuminating advertising provided on the structure. The method may also include providing short range radio advertising in a limited area around the structure. In accordance with yet additional aspects, the present invention may include the constructing of the structure from modular building materials. In addition the method may include removing the structure after a predetermined period of time and even reusing the structure at a different location.
Still further the method may include providing the structure with a projecting roof cap and down lighting advertising provided on a wall of the structure with a light source carried by the roof cap. Additionally or alternatively, the method may include providing back lighting for advertising on the structure.
In the following description there is shown and described a preferred embodiment of this invention, simply by way of illustration of one of the modes best suited to carry out the invention. As it will be realized, the invention is capable of other different embodiments and its several details are capable of modification in various, obvious aspects all without departing from the invention.
Accordingly, the drawings and descriptions will be regarded as illustrative in nature and not as restrictive.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING
The accompanying drawing incorporated in and forming a part of this specification, illustrates several aspects of the present invention, and together with the description serves to explain certain principles of the invention. In the drawing:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a storage structure provided to a customer through the method of the present invention; and
FIG. 2 is a schematical end elevational view of a storage structure through the open end doors.
Reference will now be made in detail to the present preferred embodiment of the invention, an example of which is illustrated in the accompanying drawing.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
As noted above, the present method relates to the staging of inventory. The method may be generally and broadly described as including the steps of placing an inventory staging structure adjacent a retail store, marketing advertising space on the structure and staging the inventory in the structure. Staging includes (1) unloading inventory from a vehicle such as a truck, trailer or other carrier into the structure, (2) storing the inventory in the structure for a period of time and (3) moving at least a portion of the inventory from the storage structure into the retail store or selling at least a portion of the inventory directly from the structure.
The method also includes locating the structure in a parking lot adjacent the retail store. Specifically, parking lots of busy retailers are "high traffic" areas for which many advertisers will pay top dollar for advertising space. As a consequence, by selling the advertising space on the inventory staging structure significant advertising revenue may be generated for the retailer.
The method may include many additional steps in numerous combinations and permutations. Those additional steps include customizing an internal storage space in the structure to meet the needs of the retailer. Such needs include but are not limited to particular rack, shelving and partitioning layouts as required or desired by the customer for purposes of inventory staging and control. The interior customization may be tailored to integrate with inventory control technology such as bar coding.
In accordance with further aspects, the present method may include customizing an exterior of the storage structure to incorporate trade dress and/or building architecture of the product retailer. For example, the storage structure may be provided with a roof cap incorporating the trade dress or logo of a product retailer so that the building blends in with previously existing site structures. Thus the structure may be permanently branded with the identity of the retailer. If desired, that branding may be back lighted for greater visibility.
Further, the method may include providing climate control for an interior space in the storage structure. For example, at least a portion of the interior space may be maintained at freezer temperatures for storing frozen products such as ice cream. Another portion or all of the structure may be maintained at refrigeration temperatures for storing sports drinks, soft drinks, beer, milk or the like. Advantageously, storage at serving temperatures allows the retailer to restock in-store supplies with product already at the desired serving temperature. This is particularly important for many customers who purchase such beverages with a desire for immediate consumption. Further, it also reduces the load on the retailer's refrigeration equipment since the product is already at refrigeration temperatures at the time of restocking the shelves in the retailer's refrigerator.
Still further, the method may include rotating advertising provided on the storage structure. The method may also include illuminating the advertising provided on the storage structure. That illuminating may be provided by back lighting, down lighting or up lighting advertising on the storage structure.
In accordance with additional aspects of the invention, the method may include providing short range radio advertising in a limited area around the storage structure. Such short range radio advertising may incorporate short range radio transmission advertising such as low wattage transmission on 89.1 FM. The transmitter may be located anywhere within a given radius (e.g. within 200 yds.) of the storage structure or even on the storage structure.
Still further the method may include constructing the storage structure from modular building materials. The method may also include the steps of removing the storage structure following a predetermined period of time and subsequently reusing that storage structure at a different site.
One possible construction of a storage structure or outbuilding a/k/a an inventory staging structure 10 is illustrated in FIGS. 1-2. More specifically, the structure 10 includes a floor 12, two side walls 14, an end wall 16 and a roof 18. A pair of cooperating, locking doors 20 define a second end wall opposite the first end wall 16. Any type of door 20 useful for the intended purpose may be utilized. Together, the floor 12, side walls 14, end walls 16, roof 18 and doors 20 define an interior storage space 22. That storage space 22 may be customized to meet the needs of the retailer including particular rack, shelving and/or partitioning layouts (note shelves 23) as required or desired by the user for purposes of inventory storage and control.
Similarly, the exterior of the storage structure 10 may be customized to match the trade dress and/or architectural features of the retailer's store near which the structure 10 may be placed into service. Thus, for example, the structure 10 may include a decorative roof cap 24 sized and shaped to the retailer's specifications. The roof cap 24 may include product retailer advertising, trade dress or logo 26 if desired and/or as allowed by local regulations.
The structure 10 may also be equipped with various electrical and/or mechanical systems. For example, a refrigeration or other temperature control unit 28 may be provided on the structure 10 in order to provide climate control of a portion or all of the storage space 22 within the storage structure. Accordingly, products such as perishable food, dairy products, soft drinks and beer may be maintained at the desired temperatures even in hot and humid environments.
In addition, the structure 10 may be equipped with a solar panel 30 and cooperating battery 32 to store energy for powering an internal lighting system 34 for illuminating the storage space 22 or illuminating advertising 36 on the side wall 14, end wall 16 or other exterior component of the structure 10. That advertising 36 may comprise a stretched banner material and it may be front lit or back lit as desired. Alternatively, the various electrical and mechanical components of the structure 10 may derive their power from tapping into the lines of the local electrical utility company and/or from connection with some other form of electric generator.
Still further, the structure 10 may incorporate a radio transmitter 38 for the transmission of short range advertisements respecting products displayed in the advertising 36 appearing on the exterior surface of the structure 10. A particularly effective advertising combination is the use of an illuminated digital graphic advertising banner 36 in conjunction with local transmission radio advertising providing details of the particular product. This is particularly effective when advertising a product that is sold at the retailer's place of business.
The structure 10 may be constructed from any appropriate material. The structure 10 could be constructed in the manner of a standard trailer or box truck and may or may not include additional architectural details. The structure 10 may be constructed, for example, from modular building materials such as prefabricated panels 40 of the type shown and described in, for example, U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,279,287 to Meadows, 5,373,678 to Hesser and 6,119,427 to Wyman et al. Such modular panels typically incorporate a core of thermal insulating material sandwiched between metal or plastic sheathing. Such a construction provides both efficient and effective control of the temperature and humidity of the environment in the internal storage space 22 and excellent inclement weather durability for a long, low-maintenance service life. Structures 10 constructed from such modular building panels 40 are also characterized by high strength and will resist high winds and maintain a weather-tight enclosure to protect products held in the storage space 22 from inclement weather. This is particularly true when the structure is anchored to the ground. As illustrated in FIG. 2 this may be done by using cooperating nuts and bolts 42 as anchors. The anchor bolts 42 are held in an underlying poured concrete slab 44. The modular panels 40 also allow the structure 10 to be quickly and easily erected and subsequently removed in a minimal amount of time while producing a minimum of mess.
The foregoing description of a preferred embodiment of the present invention has been presented for purposes of illustration and description. It is not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention to the precise form disclosed. Obvious modifications or variations are possible in light of the above teachings. For example, the advertising 36 may comprise the direct application of graphics to the panels 40 of the structure 10 and down lighting from a light source 42 in the roof cap 24 to illuminate those graphics. Alternatively, the advertising may comprise a banner made from an electroluminescent material of a type such as described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,637,906. Such a material is self-illuminating and when printed with graphics such as digital graphics provides a very effective advertising medium.
The structure 10 could also include an electronic display system such as a plasma monitor, LED display, liquid crystal display or like device. Further, the structure could include a rotary sign assembly of a type such as described in U.S. Pat. No. 4,021,946. Still further, it should be appreciated that the storage space 22 could be partitioned into separate compartments. An access door could be provided for each compartment.
The embodiment was chosen and described to provide the best illustration of the principles of the invention and its practical application to thereby enable one of ordinary skill in the art to utilize the invention in various embodiments and with various modifications as are suited to the particular use contemplated. All such modifications and variations are within the scope of the invention as determined by the appended claims when interpreted in accordance with the breadth to which they are fairly, legally and equitably entitled. The drawings and preferred embodiments do not and are not intended to limit the ordinary meaning of the claims and their fair and broad interpretation in any way.
Patent applications by James H. Johnson, Jr., Lexington, KY US
Patent applications in all subclasses Store service