ReTuna: the 100% second-hand shopping mall!

Posted on 01 December 2020.

Building on the current success of the second-hand market, this project - initiated in 2015 - is inspired by Lavoisier's famous quote: "nothing is lost, nothing is created, everything is transformed". Instant immersion in the shopping malls of the future!

ReTuna, in the industrial city of Eskilstuna near Stockholm, looks like any other shopping mall: a 5,000 m2 building on two floors, around fifteen stores, a restaurant... You'll find clothes, household appliances, decoration accessories, furniture, smartphones, toys and more. But what you won’t find is anything new! ReTuna is the first shopping mall in the world to be entirely devoted to second-hand goods. A title that earned it a place in the Guinness Book of Records in 2020!

ReTuna is a shopping mall like none other. Eskilstuna’s citizens can bring any objects that they no longer use, that no longer work, or that they no longer want. And it’s no coincidence that the mall is right next to the waste disposal center! Anything in good condition is sold directly in one of the 14 second-hand stores. Other items are repaired, renovated or upcycled by the shopping mall’s social enterprise before being put back on sale.

Upcycling is a way of extending the life of consumer goods by giving them a new life and new uses. And it’s a strong concept in terms of second-hand practices embraced by ReTuna - which is why a design school that provides training in upcycling practices has also been set up in the mall. 

The concept appealed to the Swedish giant Ikea, which is set to open its first ever second-hand store.

Recently, the mall announced the arrival of the Swedish kit furniture giant. In fact, with its determination to reduce its climate footprint within the next few years, Ikea intends launching its first second-hand furniture store at ReTuna. Initially, along with any damaged furniture, the store will take products returned by customers. 

This is a world first for the Swedish giant, which will be making the store a pilot project. It will be regularly evaluated to study the possibility of duplicating the model in other cities.

ReTuna has become very popular in the 5 years it has been open. Annually, it welcomes between 250,000 and 300,000 people looking for new ways to consume and shop. 

This temple to anti-waste and second hand goods has diversified its activities to include conferences, workshops and events. And it’s a concept that goes beyond being a simple shopping mall which today employs between 50 and 65 people (as compared to 12 when it first opened). This shopping mall model is also useful for the community, a stakeholder in the project, which no longer has to collect bulky items door-to-door and thus saves money.