On Monday morning, an electrician was balancing on a standing ladder with cables in hand to connect a television screen while dozens of t-shirts, hoodies and polo shirts lined the shelves. It is still a work in progress, but as of Tuesday, the I Shop is the new home for a variety of university resources. A private formal opening of the shop will be held on Thursday.
The University Shop, Next Career Services, a general university information point and Ricoh printing and copying facilities are now housed under one roof, according to RUG spokesperson Riepko Buikema. Ricoh order manager Fred Brouwer says that a syllabus store for every university faculty may eventually be added to the I Shop, too.
Plans to convert the building into a so-called service point were announced in November of 2015 following the closure of the Studystore textbook shop which previously occupied the building.
The relaunch of the shop was originally scheduled to take place this spring. The move was supposedly dependent upon the current store selling all of its remaining stock, but dozens of fluorescent hoodies and bulky cardboard boxes still fill the former location on the Oude Kijk in ‘t Jatstraat. The move also coincides with a takeover of University Shop operations by print company Ricoh.
Sustainability is the name of the game in the new store. Tags inside the organic cotton clothing items indicate that they are made in Bangladesh by a company called Stanley Stella. The clothing also comes with a Global Organic Textile Standard certification.
According to shop manager Erik Vermeeren, the RUG shop’s move also means a switch to sustainable products. The sweatshirts, mugs, pencils and shoelaces will be made from ‘green’ materials.