- Build-A-Bear was forced to end its “Pay Your Age Day” deal early on Thursday, after stores were overwhelmed with customers.
- “Per local authorities, we cannot accept additional Guests at our locations due to crowds and safety concerns,” Build-A-Bear posted on Facebook at 11 a.m. ET.
- Photos from Build-A-Bear stores show long lines stretching throughout malls and scenes that some shoppers described as “madness.”
Build-A-Bear was forced to shut down a deal that allowed customers to pay their age for bears after chaos overtook stores and malls across the United States.
On Thursday, Build-A-Bear was set to celebrate “Pay Your Age Day” in the US, Canada, and the UK, where customers could purchase a stuffed animal and pay only their age. Kids could pay just a few dollars for stuffed bears, while the fee for adults was capped at $29. The bears usually fall in the $20-$35 range.
However, the event was cut short after stores descended into what some shoppers described as “madness.”
“Per local authorities, we cannot accept additional Guests at our locations due to crowds and safety concerns,” Build-A-Bear posted on Facebook at 11 a.m. ET. “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.”
Photos from Build-A-Bear stores show chaotic scenes and long lines.
Today is the "Pay your age" event @buildabear. Holy lines!! ???? We gotta know if you went or if you're planning to! This is the scene @mallofamerica and @alison_wonderlandddd is at the Rosedale location…check our stories! • • • ????: @africasblog #twincities #twincitiesmom #onlyinmn #exploremn #minnesotamom #minnesotamama #mnmom #mnmama #twincitiesmomsblog #buildabear
“Waiting in this madness!” says the caption of a photo that shows a line stretching far outside a Build-A-Bear.
“Brought my lil one to the @buildabear pay your age event. Lines are super long. Was told it’s a 5 hour wait!!!” another caption says. “Guess we’re not getting one.”
Anyone else crazy enough to brave the Build-a-Bear line today? My girls are 1 so they can get a bear for $1. We’ll see if we make it. Check out my story for the line…you can’t even see the front! . . . #buildabear #cheaptoys #forthetwins #twinmom #iteachtoo #teachersofig #girlshadatantrumandwehadtoleave #didntgetanybears
Many customers were infuriated by the chaotic event.
“This clearly was NOT thought out,” says a Facebook comment. “You would have been far better off sending out a coupon to all BAB members for a one time pay your age bear per family member to be used in the month of July.”
Another says: “Definitely think you should hold a second day for all of the disappointed parents and kids or send a pay your age coupon to the bonus club members who didn’t get to participate.”
Build-A-Bear did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.