Retailers who leave their front doors open while blasting the air conditioning — a common practice on New York City’s busiest retail strips — are not just wasting energy, they are breaking the law. In Soho, 43 retailers, including Steve Madden, Banana Republic, Hugo Boss and H&M, were flaunting the law in yesterday’s heat, the New York Times reported, and things were no different on 34th Street.
The City Council voted in the law in 2008, and enforcement began last summer, according to the Times. “It’s a really easy thing to do, to close the door,” said Councilperson Gale Brewer, who sponsored the legislation.
Stores that do not comply face warnings and citations from the Consumer Affairs Department, but fines are usually not more than $400 — very little to a national chain. Last year, the department issued about 200 violations. [NYT]