With the opening of its latest Minnesota location on Thursday, Swedish outerwear retailer Fjallraven continues to build a growing local presence. The new Grand Avenue store is the third in a series of rapid-fire openings this year, starting with a Mall of America store that led to a second location in Uptown. Fjallraven’s new local proliferation speaks to an increasing trend that sees Minnesotans splurging on high-end, better quality outerwear.
Following in the footsteps of stores like Columbia, The North Face, Duluth Trading Company, and other quality brands that have opened multiple locations in the Twin Cities metro over the past five years, Fjallraven’s local success indicates an emergence of functional fashion as well as a collective refusal to let Minnesota’s bitterly cold winters dictate our sense of style.
“When you have endured a winter in Minnesota, you quickly realize the difference between good product and great product,” says Minnesota native Joe Prebich, director of marketing for Fjallraven North America. “Our brand was born in Northern Sweden, near the Arctic Circle, over 50 years ago. We have endured our fair share of cold winters, and we want our consumers to be able to really own the cold.” This attitude of ownership over the cold reflects a growing sentiment of positivity toward winter fashion that stores like Fjallraven facilitate through marketing high-quality, elegant outerwear.
“Minnesotans truly live outside—no matter the weather,” says Prebich. “The Fjallraven brand is built on the idea that great gear will help you enjoy the outdoors longer.” The ubiquity of outdoor sports and activities like ice fishing, hockey, and winter festivals throughout the local community surely helps strengthen this embrace of the cold, and Prebich has seen this play into Fjallraven’s performance in a major way.
The company’s decision to open the three locations stems from this perception of Minnesota hardiness—Prebich and his colleagues like to think of fall as perfect Fjallraven weather. “It was important that we bring that great outdoor spirit not just to one location, but to multiple areas across the Twin Cities,” he says.
It’s Minnesotans’ ability to embrace the cold that has brought the number of local Fjallraven stores to a number only matched by New York, and trust that outerwear brands are taking notice. Fjallraven’s Grand Avenue location opened to the public on October 8. Regular business hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.
Now open, 797 Grand Ave., St. Paul, 612-252-5061, fjallraven.us