Since doors are the first physical contact customers
have with your store, retailers should consider what
that contact should be. For example, will the door be a
manual pull/push or an automatic?
Parker’s used to have automatic doors but maintenance issues and higher utility costs from having doors
open for longer periods of time made them switch back to
pull/push doors. “We do orient the doors to be pulled
open to enter and pushed out to leave, so when your hands
are full after purchasing items, you don’t have to use them
to open the door,” said Amy Lane, COO of Savannah,
Georgia-based Parker’s, which has 44 locations.
“You also should consider the ability of the guests to
enter and exit quickly, safely and easily,” said Ed Burcher,
COO of the Canonsburg, Pennsylvania-based Coen
Markets, which operates convenience stores in Ohio,
Pennsylvania and West Virginia. A proper floor mat
system captures dirt when customers enter the store.
Doors must keep the elements out of your store,
which can be essential to a good shopping experience for
customers. Bona recommended creating vestibules to
maximize efficiency with heating and cooling, and to
provide a secondary barrier to minimize the number of
insects entering the store. Another solution is installing
air curtains inside and above the door. “Air curtains
blow down a powerful draft of air that acts as a barrier to
prevent bugs from entering as well as minimizing
heated or cooled air from escaping,” he said.
Parker’s has air curtains by its front and back doors
at nearly all of its locations that have foodservice.
“The flies would be terrible if we didn’t have the air
curtains in place,” Lane said.
Kum & Go has taken the door design further, by
incorporating its trademark ampersand as the door
handle for its Marketplace concept. Currently, only
Marketplace locations will have the ampersand door
handle. Kum & Go has opened six so far, with a goal of
opening 30 in total by the end of 2016. The company
has no plans to retrofit the ampersand door handle on
any of its 430 Kum & Go locations.
“The Marketplace store design is a physical
representation of our brand promise—Where &
means more—and we wanted that to be evident
literally as one walks through the door,” Kristie
Bell, communications director for Kum & Go.
“ We’ve gotten great feedback on this unique and
You might be wondering why a story on store doors? Doors
aren’t often the first, second, third or even last thing people
think about when you mention a convenience store—unless it’s
to tell the old joke, “Why do convenience stores have locks on
their doors if they’re open 24/7?”
However, when you consider that doors provide one of the
initial impressions a customer gets, paying attention to how
a customer enters your store starts to seem more important
than at first glance. “Doors welcome and invite customers into
the store—they help define and celebrate the point of entry
into any retail space,” said Joseph Bona, president of Moseley
Bona Retail. “It’s the transition from the outside world into
the branded environment.”