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Build-A-Bear Shuts Down Promotion After Huge Crowds Show Up

By 8:30 a.m., approximately 200 people were in line at the Florence Mall for a special promotion by Build-A-Bear Workshop.

Not long after there would be hundreds more, according to RCN's Patricia A. Scheyer, who attended the event with grandchildren.

Florence was not alone.

The Build-A-Bear promotion was called "Pay Your Age", which meant that young customers would only have to pay the same number of dollars for however old they are. The store allows customers to customize teddy bears at their locations. It was described as the national chain's largest-ever in-store promotion.

To take part in the promotion, customers had to join the Build-A-Bear Club.

By Thursday afternoon, the whole thing was scrapped after authorities around the country urged the company to control its crowd sizes.

The promotion ended up trending on Twitter - but not for reasons that the company would prefer.

The company issued a statement:

Build-A-Bear Workshop’s Pay Your Age Day event generated an overwhelming response, resulting in long lines, extensive waits and disappointed Guests. 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. We understand that many Guests were turned away as, due to safety concerns created by the crowds, authorities in certain locations closed Build-A-Bear stores and, in other locations, we were forced to limit the line. Unfortunately, given these circumstances, we were unable to serve all of our Guests for the Pay Your Age Day event.

In response, we distributed vouchers to Guests, who were present in lines, to be redeemed for a future purchase. We are now making vouchers available to our Build-A-Bear Bonus Club members in the U.S. and Canada who log into their account by midnight on July 15, 2018. Vouchers related to this event 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.

Build-A-Bear Workshop takes seriously the privilege of providing our valued Guests with an opportunity to make a furry friend. It is with that spirit that we created our Pay Your Age Day event and the new, year-long Count Your Candles birthday program, where kids 14 and under can “pay their age” for our new Birthday Treat Bear during their birthday month.

-Staff report