greaseproof architecture since 2000

Chilling effects

open sesame

While wandering through the 34 degree heat today down Lygon Street, I was cooled every six paces or so by a stream of refigerated air escaping from every shop I passed. Readings, The Witchery, Donatis meats, et al had their doors wide open and cold air cooling footpath.

Their must be some weird retail logic at work here – an open door signals an open shop? Or does the chilliness entice sweaty punters in off the street? If the butcher’ door was closed, would people prefer to go to a butchery in another suburb rather than turn the handle and push? Is that too grubby for us to do these days? Are customers conditioned by shopping centres into expecting open doors?

Bakers Delight and Lygon Court and the vege shop lift things another notch, by having most of their frontage open to the street, I guess factoring the extra energy costs into the coffee scrolls and eggplants. Or they’re expecting more customers.

“JS air curtains help keep shop doors open, increasing sales and profitability by enticing 25% extra custom.” LINK

Air curtains market themselves as the energy efficient way to keep the doors open. They push air from inside downwards quickly creating an “invisible door”. Not really the case in a retail environment as the fan force is too low, they can’t be blowing peoples toupees off. They also get upset by any negative pressure within the store.

air curtain

The other slight problem with air curtains is that they encourage the retailer to open the entire shopfront to the sweltering outdoors. Most of the stores I saw had no trace of air curtains, though a few had airconditioning units immediately above the door, which can’t be good.

New York has recently banned stores from having their doors open, subject to a number of escape clauses. Though they would save up to 25% of their electricity bills, the $200 fine isn’t scaring all of them them, but the New York Times hope consumer pressure will do the trick.

Then there are the open fridges in supermarkets, but that’s another rant.


Posted by Peter on 08.01.10 in  and 



thats what power windows are for….common sense really….

by cabbie on 10.01.10, 12:52 am ·#

smart meters and peak tariff pricing.
watch the doors start appearing like power windows then.

by hairdresser on 10.01.16, 12:06 am ·#

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