Update, 7/12/2018 at 5:30 p.m.: Build-A-Bear has just announced that Club members in the U.S. and Canada will be able to redeem a $15-off voucher by logging into their account by midnight on July 15. The vouchers need to be printed by that date and will be honored through August 31, 2018.
"It is our sincere desire for all of our Guests to enjoy the best Build-A-Bear experience possible. As such, our goal with the voucher extension is to enable us to better flow traffic to the stores over the next several weeks to avoid long lines and wait times as much as possible. Therefore, we strongly encourage Guests to consider delaying their trip to Build-A-Bear, and we appreciate everyone’s understanding and patience in this matter," the company said in a press release.
Original, 7/12/2018 at 3:57 p.m.: Just a couple of days ago, Build-A-Bear Workshop announced that its first-ever Pay Your Age Day sale would be today. Now, just hours into the event, the toy company was required to close all lines already due to the massive crowds in stores.
FOX 44 Feedback: Hundreds are lined up at Mall of Louisiana for Build-A-Bear Workshop's "Pay Your Age" promotion! Are you in line? Send us your pics and stories! pic.twitter.com/p2zsX71IPJ- FOX44 Baton Rouge (@wgmbfox44) July 12, 2018
With the promotion, customers would be able to buy a furry friend for the price of their current age for one day only - starting at $1 and capping at $29 for the older customers. Many Build-A-Bear lovers went to great lengths to show up for this deal, only to be disappointed when lines were cut off. In some locations, police were called and fights reportedly broke out.
That makes for A LOT of unhappy children (and adults) who were expecting to make their own stuffed animal today. Tons of other people took their complaints to Twitter, like one user who joked that NASA can now see the Build-A-Bear crowds from space.
@buildabear Fuming, drive all the way and take a day off work to take my 3 year & 5 year old to get them a teddy bear, to be turned away!!! You try telling them they can’t have one and see how hard it is!!! #buildabear- Megan (@ItsMeganYh) July 12, 2018
NASA now reporting they can see the queues outside Build A Bear Workshops from space.- Big Mouth Princess (@BigMouthPrincss) July 12, 2018
today is pay your age day at build a bear. the stores haven’t even been open for two hours and already they’re closing the lines because the cops told them the crowds are too big. catch grown ass adults starting riots in ur local mall over some stuffed animals.- αllιѕσи 🐝 (@machinebyexo) July 12, 2018
Welp. Trying to do the #PayYourAgeDay thing earlier this morning was an utter fail. Didn't know one had to line up so many hours before @buildabear opened. Line was cut off not even an hour after the mall opened. :( Oh well, I guess- Miranda G F (@RandieGF) July 12, 2018
It's obvious that Build-A-Bear wasn't expecting this kind of turnout, but the company released the following statement:
"The response to our Pay Your Age Day event has been overwhelming and unprecedented in our 21-year history, and the safety of our Guests and associates is our top priority. The crowds have greatly exceeded our expectations and, per local authorities, U.S. stores cannot accept any additional Guests for this event and are limiting lines due to extreme crowds and safety concerns. We understand our affected Guests may be disappointed, and we are working to address the situation. We will reach out directly to our valued Guests as soon as possible."
Other Twitter users complained about how the event was poorly planned, asking "Where was the strategical planning for this promotion?"
Almost as if Build-a-Bear didn’t expect this marketing ploy to be popular. Where was the strategical planning for this promotion? Was there any thought of the operational implications for retail by running this event? Seemingly not... https://t.co/JC9wzjQe1P- Laura (@hiimlaura91) July 12, 2018
But with all the complainers, there are still people who stood up for the company despite its mistake.
I STAND WITH @buildabear ON THIS #PayYourAgeDay sometimes deals can get out of hand this happened it is not fully the companies fault that social media and national and local media spread this deal like wildfire people need to grow up and stop complaining- Jeremy Bernard Ladébauche (@JeremyBernardL1) July 12, 2018
But it wasn't all horrible. Some people did in fact get to take advantage of the deal.
My daughter stood in line today , got amazing treatment and loved her experience @buildabear THANK YOU!! ... to the parents whose little ones didn’t make it try being understanding and not rude, they were trying to do something nice for kids. https://t.co/oYE4rS9KMB- iamAnnaKarina (@_illesztchik) July 12, 2018
So parents: There's still hope for a discounted bear! Just not today... You'll have to wait until your child's birthday month. And if discounts aren't that important to you, you can still shop regular-priced Build-A-Bears online and stuff them in stores.
For more information about Build-A-Bear's Pay Your Age Day cancellation, click here.
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