Build-A-Bear Workshop stores across the United States were forced to turn away customers after a massive response to its “Pay Your Age Day” event on Thursday.
The one-day sale allowed bonus club members to pay their child’s age for a single stuffed animal.
The turnout proved larger than the company expected. The line at the Capital City Mall store wrapped around the mall and chaos was reported at other stores nationwide.
By noon, the retailer had closed the lines and was turning away additional customers.
“Per local authorities, we cannot accept additional guests at our locations due to crowds and safety concerns,” the company said on its website. “We have closed lines in our U.S. and Canada stores. We understand some guests are disappointed and we will reach out directly as soon as possible.”
Build-A-Bear Workshop said it could not have predicted the overwhelming response.
It distributed vouchers for a future purchase to customers who were in lines. Additional vouchers are available to Bonus Club members who log into their account by midnight on July 15. The vouchers related to the event will be honored through Aug. 31.
“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,” the company said in a statement. “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.”
Under a new, year-long Count Your Candles birthday program, children 14 and under can “pay their age” for a Birthday Treat Bear during their birthday month.