This Black Friday, why not Close the Doors?29 June 2020
Would you leave your front door open on a street from 9.30am to 6pm while you were inside all day? Many UK retailers seem to think this is a good idea to encourage customers to enter their stores, especially during today’s Black Friday sales.
After an excellent talk at Temple Group by Jeannie Dawkins, founder of the Close the Door campaign, I am one of the many supporters of this excellent and common sense initiative.
Close the Door is an award-winning campaign urging retailers to close the door to avoid heating/cooling the street and to reduce exposure to hazardous outside air pollution inside the store that seriously affects the health of their staff and customers.
What retailers fail to understand is that open doors mean wasted heat and energy. The campaign reckons UK shops waste well over £300bn of energy a year. Ever wondered what factors go to frequently higher prices in shops than online?
Meanwhile on the street tiny particulates and NOx gas from diesel emissions are small enough to pass through the lung lining into the blood and therefore to every organ in the body. Consequently the air pollution we face today not only causes lung disease, but cancer, heart disease (as BHF funded research shows) and many others.
On 18/10/16, all nine of the Royal Colleges of Medicine launched the Breath of Fresh Air initiative to address what is a public health crisis, so serious are the effects of air pollution in the UK.
The campaign backs its claims with independent research from Cambridge University, King’s College London and Imperial College. It’s easy to see that a retailer simply can’t trade ethically if it doesn’t pay attention to this.
Thankfully, the likes of John Lewis Partnership and others have seen the light and closed their doors. Their bottom line is not adversely affected and many report that dwell time tends to go up as customers stay longer in more comfortable, calmer environments. Also shop lifting/petty pilfering goes down. Closed doors needn’t be barriers to accessibility, with many opting for automated entrances or door closers.
Research by Kings College London and Imperial College on shops on Regents Street in London showed a ⅓ drop in both particulates and NOx inside due specifically to closing the door during trading hours.
There’s a really good opportunity for landlords to send out a positive message to their clients and the general public. Pressure also needs to be put on the head offices of some high street retailers to take part in this campaign – many shops aren’t allowed to close their doors without head office consent.
Clean Air London tweeted erlier this month that Stockholm has more than halved its CO2 emissions in the year. So why can’t the UK government and councils encourage their local businesses and residents to do the same in just one easy and highly effective step?Read more...