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Credit: Zach Sheldon

A new University initiative looks to unite campus businesses under one brand and on one centralized website. 

Organized largely by Facilities and Real Estate Services, the new Shop Penn brand includes all retailers, restaurants, and businesses located in Penn-owned buildings throughout campus. Each affiliated retailer is listed online on the new Shop Penn website.  

“Our goal with the brand launch of this was actually to have a full web and social media strategy as part of the retailing through Penn," Executive Director of Real Estate Ed Datz said, "with one location that captures not only the retail that faces the street, but all of the retailers that participate in and about campus, including on Locust Walk and the Arch.”

The website highlights other types of attractions on campus including Franklin Field, the Palestra, and the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts. 

“The idea is that it emphasizes the experience of going to these retail locations but also within the bigger Penn environment,” said Jennifer Rizzi, FRES communications director. 

Rizzi explained that the website highlights and streamlines information on various things to do around campus including that of sports venues and theaters. 

The website also includes a few possible itineraries including "Sunday Brunch in U. City" and "Celebrate Commencement Weekend," which suggest travel plans for readers. Rizzi said that the featured lists will change throughout the year depending on the season and upcoming events. 

Credit: Zach Sheldon

While Nursing freshman Sophie Caplan said she had no knowledge of the brand website prior to an interview with The Daily Pennsylvanian, she noted that she liked the idea of the platform to help arrange plans when non-Penn friends visit her on campus. 

Another key part of the Shop Penn launch is its online and social media presence. The brand's official Twitter, which was created in November 2017, posted its first tweet on Feb. 12. 

It began sponsoring a social media contest on Thursday which will continue through Sunday. Participants are required to post a selfie taken at any of the affiliated businesses on either Instagram or Twitter captioned with the hashtag #shoppenn for the chance to win a series of prizes.