Establishing and maintaining good relations with local municipalities, in order to provide services and stores that cater to the local community, is an important goal for Citycon. In several of our centres we host municipal services such as libraries and healthcare centres, but there are possibilities for mutual benefits in other areas as well. At Kolbotn Torg shopping centre, OMA (Ombruk, Miljø og Arbeidstreningssenter), roughly translated as Reuse, Environment and Work-training centre, has finally established a permanent store.
The cooperation with OMA started in 2018 at the first Oppegård Voluntary Exchange, an annual event where the business community, voluntary organisations and municipal services meet to discuss collaboration and cooperation agreements. During the event, an agreement for a pop-up at Kolbotn Torg was signed.
During 2019, OMA ran a pop-up store at Kolbotn Torg in parallel with their main store in an industrial area, a five-minute drive from our centre wherethey had a large second-hand shop where Oppegård's inhabitants could donate clothes, books, furniture, sports equipment, and other items for sale. In 2019, 250 tonnes of products were donated for reuse or upscaling. The shop also provided work practice for people excluded from formal work life. The attendees got to learn how to run the store, including pricing and displaying the goods. Some of the work practice attendees have since been employed in other stores at Kolbotn Torg.
OMA is a mix between a recycled goods store and a place where you can hand in goods to be sold second-hand or for upcycling. During their pop-up stay at Kolbotn OMA sold a large amount of fine recycled goods. Both our customers and stores have handed in used goods that OMA upcycles and sells onwards. OMA also held auctions, which proved quite popular.
OMA have finally, after a long period with pop-ups, established a permanent store at Kolbotn Torg! Their focus is on work-training, the environment and on reuse, and they sell fine recycled goods.
OMA has since closed their former store, and from late October 2020, the main hub for buying recycled or upcycled products, as well as for donating things for upcycling, has been at Kolbotn Torg. The new premises housing OMA is bigger with direct access by elevator from the loading dock, making it easier than before to transport bigger upscaled products to the store for sale. Moving into the shopping centre also makes OMA accessible by public transport.
According to Nora Charlotte Isachsen, the store manager at OMA, the establishment of the store at the centre is a success story in so many ways. Since opening at Kolborn Torg centre, OMAhas received more than twice as many item sand their sales figures have also doubled. During the year they have had 10 persons permanently employed at the new store and around 100 people have received work-training there.
Centre manager Marianne Thoresen- Larsen is very happy to have OMA as a permanent tenant:
“We’re delighted. What we saw after the previous round is that OMA also creates permanent jobs. Both the toy store and Morris at the centre currently have permanent employees who have received work training at OMA. We’re the first shopping centre in Citycon to have a reuse store combined with work training, and we’re very proud of that.”