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Build-A-Bear CEO sorry for botched Pay Your Age event

Conventional wisdom says that people don't shop at the mall anymore. But that gets turned on its head when i...

Posted: Sep 13, 2018 4:56 PM
Updated: Sep 13, 2018 4:56 PM

Conventional wisdom says that people don't shop at the mall anymore. But that gets turned on its head when it comes to stuffed animals at ridiculous discounts.

Build-A-Bear Workshop created a frenzy at American malls in July when it held a special Pay Your Age event.

More people flocked to the stores for the one-time stunt than expected, creating massively long lines and a media frenzy. Build-A-Bear had to give out vouchers to those who were unable to get into the insanely crowded stores.

"We did not expect crowds of that magnitude. There was nothing in our planning that could have predicted the enormity of the turnout," Build-A-Bear CEO Sharon Price John told CNNMoney.

Despite the troubles on that day, she was pleased with the sales boost that the company got even if she wished the execution were better.

"It doesn't make it okay that we disappointed guests," Price John said, noting that some stores were unable to handle the volume of shoppers that came in for the Pay Your Age event and had to close early.

Long lines at a mall isn't the type of problem you'd expect in the era of online shopping. For many consumers, the mall of today is their phone.

But maintaining a balance between brick and mortar locations and the right online presence can be a challenge for retailers.

Price John said Build-a-Bear realized about five years ago that it needed a bigger online presence and also started to reevaluate its broader brick-and-mortar footprint.

As a result, the company didn't renew leases for some locations in underperforming malls and doubled down on more popular locations, particularly for tourist shoppers.

Price John said the company has three stores in Minnesota's Mall of America, for example.

Build-A-Bear also has revamped its online commerce site and has put a particular emphasis on the mobile purchasing aspects of it.

But at the end of the day, Price John thinks most customers actually want to come to the stores to create their own stuffed animals and walk out of the mall with them.

After all, the first word of the company's name is still an active word. Build.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 314509

Reported Deaths: 7247
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto21626259
Hinds20359415
Harrison17934309
Rankin13634278
Jackson13447246
Madison10099217
Lee9980174
Jones8381163
Forrest7683152
Lauderdale7191241
Lowndes6401147
Lamar623086
Lafayette6200118
Washington5339134
Bolivar4802132
Oktibbeha462798
Panola4588107
Pearl River4512146
Marshall4443103
Warren4393121
Pontotoc420772
Monroe4113133
Union411076
Neshoba4031176
Lincoln3968110
Hancock379386
Leflore3497125
Sunflower336090
Tate334084
Pike3325105
Scott315973
Alcorn313368
Yazoo311669
Itawamba300477
Copiah297065
Coahoma295479
Simpson295288
Tippah288768
Adams286882
Prentiss279760
Marion269280
Leake268373
Wayne262641
Grenada261487
Covington259681
George248048
Newton246861
Winston227281
Tishomingo226967
Jasper221148
Attala214473
Chickasaw207857
Holmes189173
Clay185454
Stone182833
Tallahatchie178841
Clarke178080
Calhoun170832
Yalobusha164338
Smith162434
Walthall133945
Greene130633
Lawrence128624
Montgomery126942
Noxubee126734
Perry126338
Amite123142
Carroll121829
Webster114532
Jefferson Davis107133
Tunica105726
Claiborne102430
Benton99525
Humphreys96733
Kemper95828
Franklin83823
Quitman80916
Choctaw76418
Wilkinson67331
Jefferson65728
Sharkey50217
Issaquena1686
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 532895

Reported Deaths: 11001
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson771431528
Mobile41089808
Madison34837505
Tuscaloosa25810454
Montgomery24355588
Shelby23730249
Baldwin21191309
Lee15892171
Calhoun14522316
Morgan14324279
Etowah13861353
Marshall12250223
Houston10581281
Elmore10060205
Limestone9986151
Cullman9705194
St. Clair9702243
Lauderdale9441242
DeKalb8846187
Talladega8255176
Walker7246277
Autauga6938108
Jackson6815112
Blount6694137
Colbert6310134
Coffee5524119
Dale4850111
Russell443238
Chilton4308112
Franklin426282
Covington4136118
Tallapoosa4039152
Escambia393977
Chambers3578123
Dallas3557152
Clarke351161
Marion3130101
Pike311377
Lawrence300798
Winston275673
Bibb261564
Geneva251477
Marengo249664
Pickens234761
Barbour231756
Hale223277
Butler216469
Fayette212562
Henry189044
Cherokee184745
Randolph181742
Monroe178040
Washington167639
Macon159950
Clay156857
Crenshaw152757
Cleburne149141
Lamar142935
Lowndes139053
Wilcox127130
Bullock122841
Conecuh110629
Coosa107928
Perry107826
Sumter104832
Greene92534
Choctaw61124
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