Monday, Sep 24, 2018
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LONG LINES

Build-a-Bear's promotion went south fast

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    Customers waiting in line to participate in Build-A-Bear Workshop's Pay Your Age event at Westfield Countryside Mall Thursday in Clearwater, Fla. Build-A-Bear has announced that they are no longer accepting customers for the event at all of its U.S. and Canada store locations because of safety concerns caused by an overwhelming response.

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

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    The Build-a-Bear entrance at Franklin Park Mall in 2005.

    The Blade
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    Parents and kids wait in line for close to an hour at Coral Square mall in Coral Springs, Fla., for the Build-A-Bear Workshop Pay Your Age day event Thursday.

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

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Build-a-Bear tried an exciting “Pay Your Age” promotion Thursday, and it quickly turned into a polyester fiber mess.

In Toledo’s Franklin Park Mall and nationwide, lines wrapped around other stores and resulted in wait times that lasted several hours. Patrons could buy their customizable stuffed animals at a discount worth that customer’s age, so children could snag teddy bears and accessories for prices far lower than usual. The deal was only valid for those who previously joined a free bonus club, and the merchandise could only be worth up to $29.

The deal also only lasted for one day, so customers flocked to their nearest Build-a-Bear stores early Thursday morning. Many of the chain’s stores called off the event entirely once lines were reportedly becoming a safety concern. Customers who didn’t get to cash in on the deal were promised a $15 voucher redeemable here, though they must login by midnight July 15 and the deal is only good through August 31. Some customers received the vouchers in person after waiting hours to get into the store.

“Our first-ever Pay Your Age Day event generated an overwhelming response resulting in long lines, extensive waits, and disappointed Guests,” Build-a-Bear posted on its official Facebook page Thursday evening. “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.”

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The Build-a-Bear entrance at Franklin Park Mall in 2005.

The Blade
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Franklin Park management and the mall’s Build-a-Bear did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the fiasco.

Contact Jimmy Miller at jmiller@theblade.com, 419-724-6050, or on Twitter @miller_jimmy.

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