Waitrose & Partners is to introduce an “invisible door” that could save retailers a combined £1.5 billion per year by reducing their energy bills.
Bicester-based Wirth Research’s pioneering AirDoor™ concept prevents warm air being lost from the store during colder temperatures and cold air being lost during warmer temperatures as customers enter and leave.
The AirDoor provides an archway that sits outside the store, located around the frame of the existing entrance.
It 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.
The AirDoor was co-funded by Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation driving productivity and economic growth by supporting the development of new ideas.
Jim Burnett, Senior Manager, Technical Services for Waitrose & Partners, said: “The potential of the AirDoor could be key in helping us make our shops even more sustainable.”
Nick Wirth, President and founder of Wirth Research and a former Formula 1 team owner, said: “AirDoor is a response to a global and increasingly urgent issue – and there is no direct competition. It represents a solution that improves the customer experience, delivers annual energy savings and reduces carbon emissions.”