- Build-A-Bear is offering all members of its “Bonus Club” $15 vouchers, after the company’s “Pay Your Age” Day ended in chaos.
- The company was forced to end its “Pay Your Age Day” deal early on Thursday, after stores were overwhelmed with customers.
- “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,” the company said in a statement.
On Thursday, Build-A-Bear was set to celebrate “Pay Your Age Day” in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, where customers could purchase a stuffed animal and pay only their age. Kids could pay just a few dollars for stuffed bears, while the fee for adults was capped at $29. The bears usually cost $20 to $35.
But at 11 a.m. ET, Build-A-Bear said it would not allow any more customers to enter locations, citing “crowds and safety concerns.”
Later on Thursday, Build-A-Bear announced all Build-A-Bear Bonus Club members – both those who waited in lines and those who did not – were eligible to receive a voucher for $15 off at the store.
“Build-A-Bear Workshop’s Pay Your Age Day event generated an overwhelming response, resulting in long lines, extensive waits and disappointed Guests,” the company said in a statement. “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.”
Customers need to download the voucher, available on Build-A-Bear’s website, before midnight on July 15. The voucher will be valid until the end of August.
The statement continued: “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.”
Photos taken at Build-A-Bear locations across the US on Thursday revealed long lines and chaotic scenes. According to Neil Saunders, the managing director of GlobalData Retail, Build-A-Bear’s reputation could take a hit as a result of the drama.
“With much higher than anticipated demand for its ‘Pay Your Age Day’ promotion, Build-A-Bear has become a victim of its own success,” Saunders wrote in a note on Thursday.
However, Saunders said the incident did have a silver lining for Build-A-Bear: While the stores were unprepared for the chaos, Thursday proves the business’ concept is still “relevant and popular.”