After a long and severe disease, Gunnar Molander has passed away at the age of 68. The list of attendees to his funeral reads like a who’s who of the Scandinavian and north German outdoor industry. The Swede was a pioneer in introducing Scandinavian brands in Central Europe starting in the early ’70s.
Back then, Molander and two partners launched TAGOSS, a distribution company. Later he was the man behind Nordisk Freizeit, a company that still exists. In the late ’80s, he was the founder of Scandic, another high-profile German distributor that specializes in Scandinavian brands, where he worked until shortly before his death. The name Molander is associated with the introduction of a wide range of great Nordic brands in Central Europe, including Suunto, Trangia, Bergans of Norway, Ally, Ullfrotté/Woolpower and Haglöfs, as well as Caravan, a brand of high-end sleeping bags that eventually collapsed.
Scandic, the current local distributor of Trangia, Woolpower and Brusletto, a Norwegian knife brand, has been run by Molander’s son Jan for many years. Jan Molander told THE COMPASS that his company will add two new brands to its portfolio: Baffin, a Canadian brand for rugged footwear, and Nanook, a Swedish marketer of outerwear for children.