Retail

Build-A-Bear Bounces Back With New Promotion

If it first you don’t succeed, cause mobs to form or a social media explosion to rage, there is really only on thing to do.

Try and try again.

Thus, even though the first “Pay Your Age” promotion didn’t quite go off as planned, Build-A-Bear is giving it another whirl — this time, with less anarchy built in from the word go.

Instead, Build-A-Bear is offering customers the opportunity to purchase a Birthday Treat Bear for the same price as their age during their birthday month. The deal will be part of the Count Your Candles promotion that is available to members of the loyalty program — a program that, coincidently, got a major bump in users last week, as members had to sign up to be part of last week’s Build-A-Bear promotion that in the end went south.

The latest promotion will be limited to children age 14 and younger, as the Birthday Treat Bear is normally priced at $14.

This more focused Pay Your Age promotion will likely roll out a bit more smoothly than last week’s adventure in crowd control. The promotion ended up being much more popular at malls across the U.S. than the company anticipated, and Build-A-Bear was ultimately forced to stop accepting customers when local authorities began voicing worries about public safety.

That deal allowed customers to snag a toy of their choosing — priced between $12 and $65 — for the price of their age. When consumers had to be sent home, they were offered a voucher, which did very little to calm those who had waited in the sun for several hours only to be sent home.

Build-A-Bear CEO Shannon Price John appeared on the “Today” show last Friday to apologize for the debacle.

“I am sorry that we were not able to provide the service that we wanted,” she said. “We’ve done a lot of big promotions in the past … so we’re used to crowds and managing that. But this really started winding up 24 to 48 hours prior to it. There was no way for us to estimate the kind of impact, those kinds of crowds. It far surpassed anything we ever could have known.”

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