Build-A-Bear stores across North America and the United Kingdom were forced to closed for the day on Thursday after an advertising stunt received an overwhelming response.
The company offered ‘Pay Your Age Day,’ where parents could bring their children to a store and take home a one-of-a-kind creation for the cost equivalent to how old they were.
Build-A-Bear toys aren’t exactly cheap, so customers flocked to the stores in the US, Canada and the UK, and the resulting lines were hilariously, and apparently potentially dangerously, long.
The company said it issued vouchers to those who were in line but weren’t able to partake in the special due to local law enforcement line closures.
Build-A-Bear stores across North America and the United Kingdom were forced to closed for the day on Thursday after an advertising stunt received an overwhelming response; Parents and children are seen here waiting in line for close to an hour at Coral Square mall in Coral Springs, Florida, for the Build-A-Bear Workshop Pay Your Age day event on Thursday
‘Our first-ever Pay Your Age Day event generated an overwhelming response resulting in long lines, extensive waits, and disappointed Guests,’ the company wrote in a statement posted on Facebook on Thursday.
‘We understand that many Guests were turned away due to safety concerns created by the crowds when authorities in certain locations closed Build-A-Bear stores or we were forced to limit the line. Given these circumstances we were unable to serve all of our Guests for the event.
‘In response, we distributed vouchers to Guests who were present in line to be redeemed for a future purchase and have now made vouchers available to all US and Canadian Bonus Club members which must be screen shot or printed by logging into your account before midnight on 15 July.’
A passerby captured video of one of the long lines outside of a store in Destin, Florida, just 15 minutes after it opened
Build-A-Bear responded by apologized to their guests who missed out, and issuing vouchers for those who tried to take advantage of the sale
The announcement informing people of the closures came over Facebook at around 11.00am Eastern.
‘Per local authorities, we cannot accept additional Guests at our locations due to crowds and safety concerns,’ an announcement from the company posted to Facebook read.
We have closed lines in our US and Canada stores. We understand some Guests are disappointed and we will reach out directly as soon as possible.’
A passerby captured video of one of the long lines outside of a store in Destin, Florida, just 15 minutes after it opened, and posted it to YouTube.
He said authorities had already started to close off lines at that time.
The average cost for a basic Build-A-Bear toy starts within the $15-$25 range.
The full statement from Build-A-Bear can be read here.
The average cost for a basic Build-A-Bear toy starts within the $15-$25 range; This file photo from July 1, 2005, shows a sample bear that customers can create at the Build-A-Bear store on 5th Avenue in New York