Build-a-Bear halts too-pop­u­lar ‘Pay Your Age’ promo Thurs­day

Yuma Sun - - DESERT LIFE -

NEW YORK — BuildA-Bear Work­shop’s “Pay Your Age” pro­mo­tion proved too pop­u­lar. The chain known for its cus­tom­iz­a­ble teddy bears and other stuffed toys couldn’t han­dle the crowds Thurs­day, and had to turn shop- pers away.

The com­pany wrote in a Face­book post that it closed lines at its stores in Canada and the U.S. due to over­whelm­ing crowds and safety con­cerns. The of­fer, which let cus­tomers with young­sters in tow buy a bear and pay their cur­rent age with a cap at $29, was also avail­able at its United King­dom stores.

Cus­tomers took to so­cial me­dia to com­plain after­ward. An­a­lyst Neil Saun­ders of Glob­alData said in a re­port that “the de­ci­sion to shut stores and end the pro­mo­tion early was nec­es­sary on both safety and op­er­a­tional grounds, but it will dam­age the brand.”

Later Thurs­day, the com­pany said it dis­trib­uted vouch­ers to cus­tomers in line that can be re­deemed for a pur­chase through Aug. 31, the chain said. It said the goal is to bet­ter con­trol traf­fic at the stores and pre­vent long lines and sig­nif­i­cant wait times.

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