Build-A-Bear is giving its “Pay Your Age” sale another go despite last week’s chaotic one-day promotion.
The toy company announced that customers can still buy a Birthday Treat Bear for the same price as their age during their birthday month. The promotion, part of its “Count Your Candles” program, will only be available to bonus club members.
Unlike the last, the current birthday promotion will also be limited to children under 14 years old, who can purchase only a Birthday Treat Bear which usually costs $14.
Build-A-Bear’s announcement comes after its one-day “Pay Your Age” sale created chaotic scenes in locations across the U.S. and across the world last Thursday. The company was ultimately forced to stop accepting customers when local authorities demanded stores to limit the number of people in lines due to safety concerns.
For the one-day deal, customers were able to snag their choice of a stuffed toy, which could range between $12 and $65.
Several photos from malls nationwide showed children and their stroller-pushing parents standing in long lines that wrapped around the floor several times. Lines extended around parking lots as customers waited in the summer heat, even holding out umbrellas to shade them from the sun.
To minimize the damage, the retailer offered a $15 voucher to customers waiting in line.
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,” John said. “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.”