Build-A-Bear Workshop Shuts Down Today’s “Pay Your Age Day”

Build-A-Bear 'pay your age day'

The Build-A-Bear ‘Pay Your Age Day’ turned out to be not so Pawsome! From Michigan to Arkansas to England and across many other cities in America and Canada today, Build-A-Bear Workshops turned away crowds of disappointed customers.

The company had offered the Build-A-Bear ‘Pay Your Age Day’ promotion where customers could buy any bear for the price of their child’s age. A custom-built bear can cost up to $52.

Build-A-Bear ‘Pay Your Age Day’ Creates Chaos

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The company had no idea how big the response would be. Long lines–some up to a mile long–were filled with angry parents in numerous cities. Police were called in to help control crowds.

Due to safety concerns, the company was forced to shut down the promotion. “The response to our ‘Pay Your Age Day’ event has been overwhelming and unprecedented in our 21-year history,” Build-A-Bear said in a statement. “Per local authorities, we cannot accept additional guests at our U.S. Build-A-Bear workshop locations due to crowd and safety concerns. We have closed lines in our U.S. stores. We understand some of our guests are disappointed and we will reach out directly as soon as possible.”

For some, the Build-A-Bear ‘Pay Your Age Day’ promotion was doomed from the start for not considering the needs of all children.

To soften the blow of disappointment, Build-A-Bear Workshop offered $15 vouchers and posted this message on their site.

Our first-ever Pay Your Age Day event generated an overwhelming response resulting in long lines, extensive waits, and disappointed Guests. We understand that many Guests were turned away due to safety concerns created by the crowds when authorities in certain locations closed Build-A-Bear stores or we were forced to limit the line. Given these circumstances we were unable to serve all of our Guests for the event. In response, we distributed vouchers to Guests who were present in line to be redeemed for a future purchase and have now made vouchers available to all U.S. & Canadian Bonus Club members. 


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Christine Yount Jones
Christine Yount Jones is Content Director for Outreach Media Group. She has published several books and hundreds of articles about ministry in the last three decades. Before his death in 2003, Michael Yount and Christine had three children. Now, she and her husband, Ray Jones, together have five grown kids.