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Swedish Outdoor Store Fjällräven Treks Into Square

Fjällräven, a popular outdoor gear store, just opened on Church Street in Harvard Square.
Fjällräven, a popular outdoor gear store, just opened on Church Street in Harvard Square. By Christine K. Jou
By Alison W. Steinbach and Katherine E. Wang, Crimson Staff Writers

Adding a Scandinavian touch to the Square, Swedish outdoor brand Fjällräven held its grand opening—complete with live music, food, promotions, and giveaways—at 63 Church St. on March 24.

Fjällräven is best known for the Kånken backpack, its top-seller originally designed for Swedish schoolchildren in the 1970s. The brand also sells a wide variety of outdoor and hiking clothing and accessories, all marketed as streamlined, sustainable, and with durable Scandinavian design.

The Harvard Square store is Fjällräven’s second Boston-area location, after its smaller Newbury St. counterpart opened in 2013. The Square location sits next door to the recently shuttered American Apparel at the corner of Church St. and Brattle St.

Nathan Dopp, President at Fjällräven North America, wrote in an emailed statement that he is excited about the new location and larger store, and looks forward to reaching the Cambridge population. The store will offer a ten percent discount to Harvard students. Most Kånken backpacks range from 50 to 100 dollars.

“We know that we resonate well with consumers of all ages and outdoor experience levels. Cambridge has a community that we believe will understand the value and uniqueness we offer,” Dopp wrote.

Elizabeth G. Ashford ’19, who currently sports a Kånken backpack, said she was a fan of the brand.

“I really like this backpack because it is a really good size and you can fit a lot of stuff in it but it’s not too big and it’s comfy on your back,” Ashford said.

Ashford said she was excited about the store’s opening and thinks many Harvard students will enjoy it.

“I really like the brand so I would definitely be happy to go check out more stuff they have,” Ashford said.

Denise A. Jillson, executive director of the Harvard Square Business Association, reached out to Fjällräven as they moved into the Square. She said the store expressed interest in becoming a member of the association.

“[They] love Harvard Square and really wants to be a solid contributor to the Square, both as a good community partner and participating in events,” Jillson said.

Dopp wrote that he hopes the store will fit well with the Harvard Square community.

“We hope to bring a place of vibrant energy and a variety of products to the Square,” Dopp wrote. “We want to be a community anchor, a place where explorers, adventurers and families can all come to experience a bit of Sweden.”

Jillson echoed the excitement of Dopp and Ashford.

“It looks like a fun store and we don’t have anything quite like it in Harvard Square, and from what I’ve been told, it has a very, very nice product and it’s a product that everyone who goes to Sweden sees all over the place—children are using their little backpacks going to school and they have a big following in Sweden,” Jillson said.

–Staff writer Alison W. Steinbach can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @alisteinbach.

—Staff writer Katherine E. Wang can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @katiewang29.

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