Despite the freezing temperatures, around 80 per cent of shops and cafes always keep their doors open because they believe, according to campaigner Rachel Lankester, that it attracts more customers.
But the Solihull MP is now getting behind the drive to protect staff and shoppers from the cold, as well as reducing energy wastage and CO2 emissions, by encouraging town centre businesses to keep their doors closed.
“There are other ways of indicating you’re open for business than leaving doors wide open, particularly in freezing cold weather,” she said.
“They lose millions of pounds every year by this practice. It’s bad for the economy and bad for the planet.”
Retailers in Solihull who do not support the campaign include Lush, who recently joined Climate Revolution to reduce climate change, but admitted the decision to close the door was left with individual store managers.
While Paul Gardner, operations director at The Fallen Angel Bakery, said the cafe door normally remained open for “accessibility” but the extreme cold had meant the door had been closed in the last week
Close the Door campaign claims that shutting the door of a medium-sized high street retailer can save ten tonnes of CO2 a year and reduce energy usage by up to 50 per cent.
Rachel said: “It’s not acceptable to have this kind of energy waste, in the same way it wasn’t acceptable to have slave labour to provide us with cheap clothes.
“The main issue is there is a retail myth that sales will go down if the doors are closed.
“But we have lots of examples; John Lewis and M&S, that trade very well with their doors closed.”
For more about the campaign, visit www.closethedoor.org.uk.