Your mobile phone needs to be charged and there is no socket you can use? A TUM-design powerbank can help. The small power station is one of many products that are sold at the new TUM Shop at Main Campus. Peter Zarnitz (AStA) and a group of students helped to establish the shop.
TUMstudinews: What is special about the new shop at Main Campus?
Peter Zarnitz: We provide students and employees with all sorts of cool and useful TUM-related products. We also sell beer that was produced in the ‘Forschungsbrauerei’ or by student spin-offs at the WZW - for example Isarkindl or BABO blue. If someone at TUM needs special T-shirts or conference materials for an event, our shop can provide support regarding the design and the ordering process.
Are you only selling novel products?
There are quite a lot of products that are new on the market, for example new t-shirts and sweaters as well as all the stationery items. Together with Unicum, we launched various new products such as the T-shirts or the set square ruler.
What‘s the best-selling item so far’
The shop’s bestseller is the drinking bottle.
And has the shop been running well until now?
Yes, definitely. We even had quite a lot of customers during the semester break. So far, everyone was really happy to be able to look at and try out all the items.
How did the idea come about?
We, the student representatives, heard that the contract with the former shop operator was about to expire. The idea of making the whole thing a bit more student-oriented and on-site had already been around for quite a while - since there was only the online shop and you couldn’t try anything. So we contacted the Chancellor’s office to find out what the plans were.
What were the next steps?
We teamed up with the university management and the company Unicum Merchandising - which has meanwhile concluded a contract with TUM regarding the operation of the shop - to discuss how they want it to turn out. Now, we are operating the shop here at Main Campus as subcontractors for Unicum.
What is the students’ role in connection with operating the shop?
We take care of the on-site operation, and we collect ideas. Many of the people we know have great suggestions about what else we could do or offer. We are planning to produce new textiles, umbrellas, and something for the summer in the near future.
Is the shop run entirely by students?
There are only students employed as shop-assistants. We currently have five or six students who get paid to run the shop - in order to cover the opening hours of the shop.
Are you planning to continue to participate in the shop after graduating, and could you imagine a profession in this direction?
Rather not. This is more a hobby, something to do on the side. It was definitely fun though! In any case, I liked the idea of improving something that wasn’t working out too well at TUM before - but I won’t be involved much in the further operation of the shop.
(Interview: Verena Pongratz)
Peter Zarnitz (23) was born in Munich and grew up in the Allgäu. He is currently in his 5th Master’s semester of Computer Science and will start working on his final thesis soon.
- The shop at Main Campus is open Monday to Friday, from 10 am to 2 pm (Arcisstraße 21, at the main entrance on the right).