Build-A-Bear Workshop‘s “Pay Your Age” promotion proved too popular.
The chain known for its customizable teddy bears and other stuffed toys couldn’t handle the crowds Thursday and had to turn shoppers away. The company closed lines at its stores in Canada and the U.S. due to overwhelming crowds and safety concerns.
The offer, which let customers buy a bear and pay their current age with a cap at $29, was also available at its United Kingdom stores.
Customers took to social media to complain afterward.
The company said it provided vouchers, and posted this message on its website and Facebook:
Build-A-Bear Workshop’s Pay Your Age Day event generated an overwhelming response, resulting in long lines, extensive waits and disappointed Guests. We feel it is important to share that, based on the information available to us before the day began, we could not have predicted this reaction to our Pay Your Age Day event. We understand that many Guests were turned away as, due to safety concerns created by the crowds, authorities in certain locations closed Build-A-Bear stores and, in other locations, we were forced to limit the line. Unfortunately, given these circumstances, we were unable to serve all of our Guests for the Pay Your Age Day event.
In response, we distributed vouchers to Guests, who were present in lines, to be redeemed for a future purchase. We are now making vouchers available to our Build-A-Bear Bonus Club members in the U.S. and Canada who log into their account by midnight on July 15, 2018. Vouchers related to this event will be honored through August 31, 2018.
It is our sincere desire for all of our Guests to enjoy the best Build-A-Bear experience possible. As such, our goal with the voucher extension is to enable us to better flow traffic to the stores over the next several weeks to avoid long lines and wait times as much as possible. Therefore, we strongly encourage Guests to consider delaying their trip to Build-A-Bear, and we appreciate everyone’s understanding and patience in this matter.
Build-A-Bear Workshop takes seriously the privilege of providing our valued Guests with an opportunity to make a furry friend. It is with that spirit that we created our Pay Your Age Day event and the new, year-long Count Your Candles birthday program, where kids 14 and under can “pay their age” for our new Birthday Treat Bear during their birthday month.
Thank you for your passion and continued support.
At The Mall at Barnes Crossing in Tupelo, a long line of customers that stretched outside was moved inside to the food court before the store opened, said mall general manager Jeff Snyder. He said the store did close the line at one point, but “everything went smoothly. (It was a) big turnout.”