University opens UPoint – information centre and shop
Olomouc (April 15, 2015) – Information centre of Palacký University, shop, reading room and community centre – new UPoint, which opens at noon on Thursday in The Black Dog House on the Upper square, includes all this.
Over an area of two hundred square metres, the general public will find a designer fashion collection, high-quality souvenirs, books from the University publishing house, as well as information about the University and the services it offers.
It will be open from Monday to Saturday from 12:00 to 20:00 hours.
The idea to establish such a location had been discussed previously at the University, but it was the new management that breathed life into the idea.
At the same time, it has significantly contributed to enlivening the city centre.
Although the University has several dozen buildings in Olomouc, paradoxically it was never visible in the city centre.
Students and graduates of UP also took part in creating some of the product assortment, either in designing UniWearCity fashion collection or in the form of suggestions regarding the design of some souvenirs.
“UPoint is not meant only for the academic community, but it should also serve the general public, including tourists.
All these people will find wireless Internet connection or can sit in a pleasant environment with a cup of coffee roast in a local café,” said Vice-Rector Petr Bilík.
Books, fashion, souvenirs
Books, fashion and promotional items are actually the most common combination at foreign universities.
“Maybe the most fundamental inspiration came from the Saint Andrews in Scotland, where I went to take a look into their university shop when I was on an internship there.
Everything is very elegant there and finished in every detail, and practically anything becomes a bearer of the brand.
On one hand it is goods, on the other it is identification with the institution and spreading its good reputation around the world,” said Vice-Rector Petr Bilík.
The bookshelves will be filled with selected books from the UP publishing house and Prague Academia.
Initially only books for sale will be available, to be added to later with books for reading in the centre.
“UPoint will also be open to visitors who just come to read newspaper or some of the books belonging to the University Library,” said University spokesman Radek Palaščák.
The fashion collection was designed by Alexandra Monhartová, a University graduate, and photographed by student Kristýna Erbenová.
The souvenirs were designed by Radim Měsíc, a student and an employee of the Department of Communication.
The University for itself and for the public
The profitability of UPoint is focused to a large extent on items to be bought by the University itself, so that academic community obtains them.
“When conferences take place, the organizers should think of this shop, and they should not change graphics, materials and buy poor-quality and useless items on every occasion,” says Vice-Rector Bilík.
After the opening there will be about three dozen items on the shelves, but there are already several thousand items in stock.
“The largest share is occupied by fashion.
We also assume that it will be the quickest to sell out,” estimates shop manager Lenka Matoušková.
The most expensive product is a luxury hand-made leather wallet priced at 1500 CZK, the cheapest is a wooden pencil with eraser for 10 CZK.
The function of UPoint as an information centre is equally important .
Here the public can find out everything about the University’s cultural, social and educational events, about the programme for graduates, educational programmes for all generations or offers of accommodation and catering.
Ondřej Martínek Palacký Univerzity Olomouc | Department of Communication
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