Waitrose & Partners To Introduce ‘Invisible Door’
Waitrose & Partners is to introduce an ‘invisible door’ that has the potential to save British retailers a combined £1.5 billion per year by reducing their energy bills.
Wirth Research’s AirDoor concept prevents warm air being lost from the store during colder temperatures, the retailer said.
It also stores cold air being lost during warmer temperatures as customers enter and leave, meaning doors are often left open for longer periods.
Waitrose said that the new addition will perform particularly well in instances of extreme temperature or pressure differences as well as strong winds.
The AirDoor provides an archway that sits outside the store, located around the frame of the existing entrance.
It has been designed to help tackle the estimated £1.5 billion annual cost to British retailers caused by avoidable energy loss at the door of stores, according to the statement.
It incorporates an array of sensors to detect airflow in both directions, which is then counteracted by an opposing, self-generating wind, it reveals.
The result is an invisible, active barrier, preventing unwanted outside air flowing into the building and internal air from escaping.
There is minimal disruption to the customer and the solution also negates the need for revolving doors or lobbies, according to Waitrose.
The AirDoor was co-funded by Innovate UK – a government scheme that rewards game-changing innovation with global potential.
“We are always looking to find innovative ways to reduce our impact on the environment and while we know we still have a lot of work to do, the potential of the AirDoor could be key in helping us make our shops even more sustainable in the future.” said Jim Burnett, senior manager, technical services, Waitrose & Partners.
The new concept is scheduled to launch at the supermarket’s Berkhamsted store later this year and, if successful, there are plans to roll the AirDoor out to more Waitrose shops.
© 2019 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Helen Galgey. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.