To bring its products to destinations popular with families, Build-A-Bear Workshop plans to open new permanent shops at FAO Schwarz’s new flagship and at four locations of Great Wolf Lodge. In addition, it plans to open seasonal pop-ups at six locations of Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s, the company said in an announcement.
Build-A-Bear Workshop Chief Operations Officer Chris Hurt said in the announcement, “Build-A-Bear is working with some of the best family-focused venues in the country this holiday season and beyond to bring our unforgettable Make-Your-Own experience to even more places people go for fun and entertainment. From permanent installations to seasonal shops, Build-A-Bear and our world-class partners are helping loved ones create memories and spend more time together.”
Bass Pro Shops locations in Indiana, California, Missouri, Florida, Pennsylvania and Colorado are said to host the pop-up shops along with Cabela's stores in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Utah and Texas. At the same time, permanent shops will come to Great Wolf Lodge locations in Minnesota, Colorado, Massachusetts and Ohio. Furthermore, the permanent shop at the FAO Schwarz flagship location in New York will include an “exclusive FAO Schwarz plush and New York-themed accessories.”
The report comes as news surfaced that FAO Schwarz is planning to have a flagship store in New York City once again — this time at Rockefeller Center instead of the Fifth Avenue location where Tom Hanks tapped out “Chopsticks” on a dance-on piano in the 1988 movie “Big.”
The new store, which will be located at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, will feature multiple experiential retail components. For starters, the space will have the iconic dance-on piano as well as a build-your-own RC race car station. The store will also offer magic shows and a grocery shopping experience designed for kids.
Beyond New York, FAO Schwarz is planning to extend that experiential approach to partner locations, “offering the world that one-of-a-kind toy retail experience the brand is known for,” according to an announcement in early October.