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Utilizing automatic doors for store security

Updated: Apr 19

The retail landscape is continually evolving, driven by technological advancements and the changing expectations of customers who seek a blend of security and convenience. One innovative solution gaining traction in this arena is the integration of automatic doors, which not only offer unparalleled convenience but also anchor security systems that are designed to deter theft and maintain the safety of the retail environment.

In this blog, we explore how retailers can harness the power of automatic doors to fortify their security measures and enhance the customer experience.


Automatic Sliding doors in a supermarket


The Concept Behind Automatic Doors and Security

The integration of automatic doors into a store's concept is often a strategic move to provide customers with a seamless and convenient entry and exit point. However, a lesser-known benefit is the role these doors play in a store's security ecosystem.

Consider the automatic door as more than just a physical entry point. It’s a key component in a chain of security features designed to monitor and control access. Unlike conventional doors, automatic door systems can be interlinked with the latest in security technology, such as biometric scanners, proximity sensors, and AI-assisted recognition software.


Tesco's Approach in Bristol, UK

One prominent example of leveraging automatic doors for security can be seen at a Tesco supermarket in Bristol, UK. Here, the store has implemented a unique system where the automatic sliding doors do not immediately open for customers. Instead, employees first visually identify patrons through CCTV surveillance, allowing them to grant access post-identification. This proactiveness significantly reduces incidents of shoplifting and ensures a safer environment for all.

Furthermore, to deter theft and prevent quick getaways, the supermarket has removed baskets from the entry, adopting what they describe as a "nightclub-style door policy." This strategy is particularly effective during periods when security guards are not present, such as between 6 am and 9 am, and during late evenings.

We understand the importance of not only providing convenience but also prioritizing security measures that safeguard businesses and their assets. In fact, many of our clients have already implemented similar solutions, utilizing remote-controlled and push buttons at the reception to control their door access systems and mitigate the risk of thefts and unwanted store visitors.



Automatic Sliding Doors


Enhancing the Customer Experience

While security is undoubtedly a priority, the customer experience is also catapulted to new levels with the incorporation of automatic doors. Their swift and hands-free operation streamlines the shopping process, making it more convenient for customers to enter and exit the store, especially those with shopping carts or mobility challenges.


A Seamless Shopping Experience

The ease of maneuvering through doors without the need to push or pull creates a positive first impression and encourages repeat business. Furthermore, well-integrated automatic door systems can aid in temperature regulation, minimizing the exchange of inside and outside air, which is a vital consideration for stores with climate-controlled interiors.


Selecting the Right System for Your Store

Choosing the right automatic door system for a retail establishment is a decision that requires careful consideration. It involves evaluating the size and layout of the store, traffic patterns, and the specific security needs of the business.


Assessing Security Needs

For high-traffic areas or stores located in areas with elevated security risks, sliding automatic doors or high energy swing doors might be the ideal choice. These doors can be integrated with the store access control and the CCTV system as well and seamlessly close and lock in response to potential threats, serving as a formidable barrier against unauthorized entry.


Tailoring to Your Customer Base

Understanding your customer base is also essential. A store with a significant elderly or differently-abled clientele might find that automatic doors with slower operation and a wider entrance are more inclusive and customer-friendly.


The Integration of Technology and Design

Modern automatic door systems are a marriage of sophistication and simplicity. The built-in sensors can detect the right moment to open and close, ensuring a smooth and safe operation. Additionally, the aesthetics of the automatic doors can be customized to complement the store's interior design and branding.


Aesthetic Considerations

The design of the doors, the material used, and the size of the entrance all contribute to the overall look and feel of the retail space. When properly integrated, automatic doors can become a design feature that enhances the store’s style and appeal. For automatic door design you can read our blog article about automatic door aesthetics.


Ongoing Maintenance and Accessibility

Ensuring that the automatic doors are regularly maintained is crucial to their functionality and the security of the store. Maintenance should be scheduled, and staff should be trained to recognize and respond to any issues promptly. Further, maintaining accessibility standards is not only a legal requirement in many places but also a demonstration of a store's commitment to inclusivity and the customer experience.





The Future of Automatic Doors in Retail

The incorporation of AI with automatic door systems presents a glimpse into the future of retail security and customer service. With AI, automatic doors can detect customer flow, make adjustments on the fly, and learn over time to predict foot traffic, leading to better operational efficiency and even further improvement in security measures.


A Harmonious Blend of Technology and Human Oversight

Despite the rise of AI in retail, the human factor remains essential. AI-aided automatic door systems can work in tandem with store personnel, who have the final say in granting access or supervising the process at least.


Government Regulations and Privacy Concerns

As retail stores consider the integration of AI with automatic door systems, the question of government regulations and privacy laws becomes pertinent. The use of AI technology to track and predict customer flow raises valid concerns about individual privacy and data protection. Governments worldwide are enhancing their scrutiny of how businesses collect, store, and use consumer data. Compliance with regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union, and similar laws in other jurisdictions, is essential. Stores must ensure that their use of AI in automatic door systems adheres to these legal requirements, protecting consumer privacy while leveraging technology for improved service and security. The balance between technological advancement and privacy rights will be a critical point of consideration for retailers moving forward.


Conclusion

The use of automatic doors goes beyond mere convenience. When thoughtfully employed in the retail sector, these doors can serve as an integral part of a store's security and operational strategy. They offer a blend of heightened security measures, elevated customer experience, and a touch of modern design that can set a store apart in an increasingly competitive market.

By staying abreast of the latest in automatic door technology and innovatively integrating them into the retail environment, store owners can ensure their customers shop in a safe, inviting, and forward-thinking space.

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