Build-a-Bear Workshop has been a staple of childhoods everywhere for generations, but it looks like their latest promotion has caused quite a stir.
This week, the company kicked off its "Pay Your Age" promotion, which allowed members of the Build-a-Bear rewards program to, well, page their age for a stuffed animal. According to reports around the country, the promotion drew some pretty major crowds, causing Build-a-Bear to close the promotion for "safety concerns".
Build-a-Bear issued a statement on their Instagram account, along with an offer for attendees to earn a $15 off coupon for their troubles.
Our first-ever Pay Your Age Day event generated an overwhelming response resulting in long lines, extensive waits, and disappointed Guests. 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 U.S. & Canadian Bonus Club members which must be screen shot or printed by logging into your account before midnight on 15 July. We encourage all of our valued Guests to visit our full statement and download the voucher on our website and we’d like to reiterate our sincerest thanks for your passion and continued support!
Sure, the idea of a young child making a Build-a-Bear for a few dollars is pretty promising, but the $15 voucher will surely be seen as a good deal for some. Whether or not that will mend any bad PR from the campaign has yet to be seen.
"Instead of Build-A-Bear being a place of happiness or joy, it became a place of frustration and disappointment," said Timothy Calkins, clinical professor of marketing at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management, told the Chicago Tribune. "It really is a disaster for Build-A-Bear. You desperately want your brand associated with happy parents and happy kids."
Were you a part of Build-a-Bear's "Pay Your Age" sale? And do you think these coupons will help fix things? Let us know what you think in the comments below.