Euro-MP in appeal to shops to ‘shut that door’

Date published: 16 April 2008

Rochdale Euro-MP Chris Davies is calling for businesses to shut up in a bid to save the environment.

Mr Davies has made the request after seeing an increase in the number of shop owners who leave the front door open to attract customers while having the heating on full blast to keep the shop warm.

Estimates suggest that shops waste around £300 million each year because their doors are left open - and many could slash their power bills by a quarter and help fight climate change by cutting energy use if they simply closed them.

Automated doors that stay open longer than necessary or which are overly sensitive to movement are also branded as culprits by campaigners.

Mr Davies, Lib Dem environment spokesperson in the European Parliament, has written to a number of high street retailers to ask that they keep their doors shut.

He said: “I have heard both shop staff and customers complaining about icy air whistling in through open doors. The policy is madness and I hope retailers will wake up to the waste.

“Open doors are intended to entice customers to step inside. But with the United Nations predicting that billions will suffer from the effects of global warming it is morally indefensible to waste energy in this way.”

Public opinion is changing and organisations like Close the Door are gaining support. The group has successfully lobbied fashion chain Jaeger to bring in a closed-door policy and is asking other retailers to follow suit.

Jeannie Dawkins, chairman of Close the Door, said: “We are delighted that Chris Davies is supporting our campaign, in particular by writing to the head offices of large chains.

“We find that small independent shops want to save energy and are very receptive to our encouragement to them to close their doors.

“But shops belonging to large chains are told to keep their doors open by their head offices. The people at the top need to practice what they preach.”

Mr Davies added: “Retailers can display a prominent sign telling shoppers they are open. They might also like to tell people that by keeping the door closed they can cut costs and lower prices while saving the environment.”

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