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20 Jul 2018 9:12
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  •   Home > News > International

    How a Build-A-Bear promotion to 'Pay Your Age' descended into chaos in the US and UK

    It was supposed to be Build-A-Bear's biggest sale ever. Instead it was a huge headache for parents. Here's how a Build-A-Bear promotion caused chaos at shopping centres in the US and UK.

    It was supposed to be Build-A-Bear's biggest sale ever.

    The global teddy bear retailer told parents to get ready for "fun" ahead of its 'Pay Your Age' promotion in the US and UK, where kids were invited to pay only their age for customisable bears that normally cost around $40.

    But when hundreds of people with prams and excited children flocked to stores and formed long lines that clogged shopping centre corridors, the day descended into chaos.

    This was one queue at a shopping centre in Bristol:

    And this was another in Blackpool:

    In the US, parents reported having to wait up to five hours in lines, with some eventually missing out when a number of stores were forced to close.

    One mother from North Carolina said she waited for two hours, only to be turned away.

    "Per local authorities, we cannot accept additional guests at our US Build-A-Bear Workshop locations due to crowd and safety concerns," the company said in a statement.

    "We understand some of our guests are disappointed and we will reach out directly as soon as possible."

    Later, the retailer said it had offered vouchers to customers who were turned away from stores, and others could claim the discount online.

    "We feel it is important to share that, based on the information available to us before the day began, we could not have predicted this reaction to our Pay Your Age Day event," it said.

    Build-A-Bear is headquartered in Missouri and has some 400 stores worldwide.


    © 2018 ABC Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved

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