Double Doors
October 25, 2004 11:04 AM   Subscribe

I have another NYC quirks question (my first was about straws): Why is it that if a store (such as Banana Republic) has double doors at its entrance, more often than not one of them is locked? According to my observations all it does is impede traffic (which would be problematic if there was a fire).
posted by o2b to Shopping (11 answers total)
Just a guess, but it might be to prevent wind/debris/heat/cold/rain/snow from whirling around too much into the store if customers were to open both doors wide. Seems like it would be against firecode if they are both locked when pushing 'outward' though. Hmm.
posted by thunder at 11:22 AM on October 25, 2004

I'd always assumed it was to impede shoplifting.
posted by soplerfo at 11:29 AM on October 25, 2004

John Kelly wondered the same thing in two recent Washington Post columns:

In One Door and Not the Other
The Door to Customer Dissatisfaction
posted by llamateur at 11:30 AM on October 25, 2004

I don't know that there's anything particularly New York-ish about this. It's fairly common practice around here, too, particularly with lobby doors of office buildings. I've always assumed the purpose was to bottleneck all entry and exit to the narrowest point, for some vague and poorly-defined security purpose, such as to get everyone under the same security camera.
posted by majick at 12:27 PM on October 25, 2004

In asking this at one clothes shop, they mentioned there were two doors to allow large fixtures to come in and out but they closed one due to shoplifting concerns when not moving stuff through.

Speaking of doors, what's the deal with locks on 7/11 doors open 24/7?
posted by karmaville at 5:50 PM on October 25, 2004

"what's the deal with locks on 7/11 doors open 24/7?"

The lock's there in case the kid behind the counter has to take a leak.
posted by majick at 5:57 PM on October 25, 2004

7-11 closes if there's a hurricane, extended power outage, death of the owner, remodeling, etc.
posted by waldo at 6:45 PM on October 25, 2004

I've run into this almost everywhere in north america, and I've noticed that it's almost always the left-hand door (as you enter the establishment) that's locked, rather than the right side.

So the door that's "yours" when you exit is almost always the locked one, meaning you can't leave until the people entering get out of the way. I've always suspected that this is because the stores want to make it slightly harder for you to leave.

...which ties in fairly neatly with the shoplifting argument. Naturally, this could all be pure delusion on my part.
posted by aramaic at 6:50 PM on October 25, 2004

I always assumed it was so that the people attempting to pull open one door would not be smacked in the face by the other door pushing out as someone opens it.
posted by eas98 at 6:59 AM on October 26, 2004

I was just in NYC over the weekend, and I, uh, walked into this situation a couple of times.
posted by bachelor#3 at 8:34 AM on October 26, 2004

>>"what's the deal with locks on 7/11 doors open 24/7?"

>"The lock's there in case the kid behind the counter has to take a leak."

yup, I used to work at a 24 hour convenience store, and when you're the only one there and have to take a leak, you lock the door and put a "back in 5 minutes" sign on.
posted by sauril at 12:47 PM on October 26, 2004

« Older Archival Glue   |   Squash! Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.