May 30, 2012
If you’re not the type to venture beyond the wilds of your own backyard, it’s all right. The Duluth Pack Store can outfit you with every bit of gear you need to take on places like the Boundary Waters.
Or, shoot, you can just sit in the store and feel outdoorsy enough.
Named after its Duluth Pack, a cavernous canvas and leather camping satchel patented in 1882 and stitched in the same Duluth (MN) factory for 101 years, the store caters to hikers and campers who want the gear that will keep them alive out in the wilderness plus allow them to look good when the forest rangers finally find their bodies.
We’re kidding, of course, but Duluth Pack gear has been a symbol of north woods ruggedness as long as the north woods have been a symbol of outdoor adventure.
But let’s say you’ve never stepped further outside than Central Park. That’s okay, too. The Duluth Pack Store is now selling to places like Barney’s of New York.
“It’s weird, but we’re hip,” said Laura Duenow, Apparel and Footwear Buyer for the Duluth Pack Store. “We’ve been selling a very traditional product for a very long time, but because we’ve been able to blend modern style with traditional function, we’ve got this cool, Americana following.”
Just like, she says, Stormy Kromer.
“We’ve always carried Kromer caps,” added Duenow, “but the outdoor customer is more savvy than ever, and Stormy Kromer adapted and expanded its apparel line to fit them. When we saw that, we knew we had to sell it.”
And last year, they were the world’s second-largest seller of Kromer goods.
“We offer our customers an experience they can’t get in the big-box franchises,” added Duenow. “It’s a destination, not just an outdoor store.”
She couldn’t be more right. Duluth Pack sits in Duluth’s famous Canal Park district, which welcomes 3.5 million out-of-town visitors each year—many of whom stop at the store as a starting point for their wilderness vacation.
“We give them fashion-forward function, and Stormy Kromer understands what that’s all about. Those are the kind of brands our customers want.”
You just have to go out and get them. Or at least visit www.duluthpack.com.