Build-A-Bear has pulled its ‘pay your age’ offer due to overcrowding fears at its shops, after hopeful families were forced to queue for hours to grab a bargain.
The teddy-selling chain today launched its first-ever ‘pay your age’ offer, allowing you to buy a bear for however old your child is in pounds – so a three-year-old could get one for £3. Given the usual cost is £20-ish, it was a strong deal for many and attracted widespread publicity beforehand, featuring on deals sites, in national newspapers and in our weekly email.
But late this morning, amid reports of huge wait times at shopping centres across the country, Build-A-Bear announced that “queues are at capacity” due to an “overwhelming and unprecedented” response.
It’s said it’s no longer “accepting additional guests” for the deal. We’re checking whether this means customers who are already in a queue will still be able to get the deal, and will update this story when we know more.
For full details of how the deal worked, see our Build-A-Bear ‘pay your age’ write-up.
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‘Just travelled 30 miles and wasn’t even allowed to join the queue’
Many people have been tweeting their disappointment at the deal and showing pictures of the queues:
@buildabear just travelled 30 miles to Silverburn to take part in pay your age. However wasn’t even allowed to join queue and that was before the shop even opened. Had to leave with three crying children. Very dissapointed ð¬
Alison Patterson (@xxAlisonPxx) July 12, 2018
@buildabear spent 2 hours and Â£30 travelling from Isle of Wight to get a bear for my daughters 2nd birthday. Only to find out canât even get in the que as stock is already very low. One upset little girl.
Jason Coles (@jcoles33) July 12, 2018
Tank-Juicy (@tank_juicy) July 12, 2018
BUILD-A-BEAR UPDATE! At this time @buildabear has closed the queue for their event. We will let you know if it reopens at any point later today. #buildabear #payyourage #norwich pic.twitter.com/XpI6WQmEJO
intu Chapelfield (@intuChapelfield) July 12, 2018
What does Build-A-Bear say?
A statement on its website says: “The response to our Pay Your Age Day event at all of our UK locations has been overwhelming and unprecedented in our 21-year history.
“The crowds have greatly exceeded our expectations and, per local authorities, queues are at capacity and we cannot accept additional guests due to extreme crowds and safety concerns.
“We understand our guests are disappointed, and we are working to address the situation. We will reach out directly to our valued guests as soon as possible.
“Keep in mind, our new Count Your Candles program is available to Bonus Club members all year long and allows children under 14 to pay their age for our special Birthday Treat Bear during the month of their birthday.”