Build A Bear tried doing something today that would benefits its hundreds of thousands of customers, running a unique promotion called “Pay Your Age.” Unfortunately, Build A Bear wasn’t expecting the one time only deal would be such a smash hit, and were forced to shutdown the whole thing, which is never good PR for the company.
The Build A Bear “Pay Your Age” promo was unique in that, as the title says, it gave customers a chance to purchase a personalized bear for their current age. Kids were able to get their bears for mere dollars, while adults had a cap of $29 — so, yeah, even my 64-year-old parents could show up and save a ton of money. A normal Build A Bear retails from anywhere between $20-$35, so there was plenty of intrigue with the “Pay Your Age” day.
It’s too bad there was too much interest.
Following the massive amounts of patrons who attended the Build A Bear event, the company had to shut things down due to safety concerns. After all, just look at the above video from a Chicago-area store and it’s easy to see why it was a good idea to think safety first. Still, that didn’t sit too well with potential customers who were waiting in line to get their customized bear.
Amid the outrage, Build A Bear released a Facebook statement saying they were closing based due to “local authorities.”
“Per local authorities, we cannot accept additional Guests at our locations due to crowds and safety concerns,” Build-A-Bear said in a statement. “We have closed lines in our U.S. and Canada stores. We understand some Guests are disappointed and we will reach out directly as soon as possible.”
With some patrons waiting in line for five hours (or more), per journalist Caroline Patrickis’s Twitter page, being turned away wasn’t what they were expecting to see happen. It’s too bad to see Build A Bear have such poor planning for such an event.
However, prior to the “Pay Your Age” promotion getting shut down, there were several customers who were able to get their hands on bears of their choice. Two ladies who founded one of the nation’s largest couponing sites, Heather Wheeler and Joanie Demer, were able to make out of the store with over 100 orders after they shuttled refugee children from complexes in Boise, Idaho to the mall, where the kids chose their very own bear, cat, dog or pony.
So, while not every customer in line left with what they desired, at least Build A Bear had one feel good story to hang their hat on. Unfortunately, many others left empty-handed.
Lead image via Getty