MECHANICSBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — REI Co-op, a store known for a wide array of outdoor clothing and accessories, made its official Central Pennsylvania debut this week.

The store held its grand opening on Friday, Oct. 1, on the Carlisle Pike in Mechanicsburg. It replaces Toys “R” Us, which closed in 2018.

REI was founded in 1938 by a group of 23 friends who loved the outdoors. This will be the chain’s fourth store in Pennsylvania and has 168 locations around the country. The store sells almost any outdoor product you could need, from clothing to bicycles to kayaks and much more. You can rent a majority of the equipment as well.

REI Co-op opens Friday, Oct. 1 on the Carlisle Pike

Austen Rose Keller, store manager at the Mechanicsburg location, moved to the area after being the Senior Sales Manager at the Seattle flagship store previously.

“I was really drawn to the outdoor activities in this area. Being so close to the Susquehanna [River] has been amazing,” Keller said.

“I really love the authenticity that REI provides as a company. You can be whoever you are, and you’ll always have a safe place at the company,” Keller continued. “I’m really looking forward to connecting with the local community. There’s a very strong outdoor community in Cumberland County, and I’m looking forward to building a strong relationship with them.”

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Keller hopes that the Mechanicsburg location can soon offer their featured in-store classes, and will do so when the time is right in terms of safety.

“We’re going to have a big party in the parking lot for the grand opening,” Keller said. “I look forward to helping the people of Cumberland County get the gear they need to get outdoors.”