Long lines, massive crowds overwhelm Build-A-Bear promotion
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — It was supposed to be a simple one-day promotion, but the folks at the Build-A-Bear Workshops had no idea the customer response would be so massive.
Because of the hundreds of thousands of people who turned up at malls and stores across the nation, the retailer decided to call an end to the “Pay Your Age” deal which allowed customers to buy a plush toy that normally sells for at least $25, for a discounted price based on the age of the child.
At Fashion Valley Mall, some families and children arrived at the mall, even before the doors to the Build-A-Bear store were open. By mid-morning, the line to enter the store snaked halfway around the mall. Sometime between 11:30 and noon, the store at Fashion Valley mall announced that no more people could join the line.
In a Twitter message sent by the company at 11:30 am EDT, the retailer said, ‘We cannot accept additional guests at our locations due to crowd safety concerns. We have closed lines in our stores.”
The company offered an olive branch to its customers in the U.S. and Canada, saying it would pass out vouchers for a future purchase to those who were shut out of the promotional sale.
At the mall in Fashion Valley, customers who were turned away from the line, received a discount coupon, good for $15 off their next purchase.
The families at Fashion Valley that were able to keep their place in the line considered themselves fortunate. Although the wait for the promotion was lengthy, as long as eight and nine hours, many parents said they were happy to do it for their children.
Camista Moniz, a mother of two who had been waiting with her sons said, “I feel like to be a mom, especially a mom of boys, you have to be crazy, so I embrace it. I embrace my crazy.”