St Louis based toy retailer Build-A-Bear Workshop was forced to cancel their first ever ‘Pay Your Age’ event after thousands of shoppers showed up causing many shopping malls to turn away customers over mall capacity issues.
BUILD A BEAR MADNESS! The line for the Pay Your Age at @buildabear is closed at the Florida Mall. There is still a long line of people waiting to get into the store & stuff their bears @news6wkmg #News6 pic.twitter.com/qWaqYFbsRs
— Amanda Castro (@AmandaNCastro) July 12, 2018
The event was first announced in early July and indicated that on July 12, customers could purchase a customized soft toy plush at the price related to the child’s age. Normally the toys range between $10 and $25 dollars. During the event, the price would be based on the child’s age, prompting many to believe the toys we’re given as low as $1 dollar, if they proved the child is one year old.
Per local authorities, we cannot accept additional Guests at our locations due to crowd safety concerns. We have closed lines in our stores. We understand some Guests are disappointed and we will reach out directly as soon as possible. https://t.co/aSFfPCcfsG pic.twitter.com/WZJ53tOAEH
— Build-A-Bear Workshop (@buildabear) July 12, 2018
In a statement posted to its website, Build-A-Bear said that the event generated “an overwhelming response.”
“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. “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.”
The event was held at many stores located in the United States, Canada, and the UK. Some stores issued vouchers to customers in line for future purchases at the stores and encouraged them to delay their visit to “enable us to better flow traffic to the stores over the next several weeks,” according to the company. However many parents expressed their frustrations online in regards to the national toy retailer’s inability to handle larger crowds for the special day.
Build-A-Bear Workshop was founded in 1997 and is known for offering guests the experience of creating their own soft toy plush or ‘bear’ based on popular franchises like Pokemon, Disney, and My Little Pony.