Today’s promotion by build-a-bear sounded like a great idea. Build a bear and pay the age of your child.
Little did anyone expect parents and grandparents across the country to lose their collective minds over such a promotion.
But that’s exactly what happened as thousands of people showed up at build-a-bear stores across the country forcing some stores to close and others to offer coupons to pissed off grandma’s who didn’t get their grandkid a bear.
At the Walden Galleria Mall, it took SEVEN Cheektowaga Police officers to deal with the angry crowds of people who spent hours in line waiting to build their bears. (see video above)
Around 11 a.m. Build-A-Bear’s Missouri headquarters announced it would close all locations because of the unmanageable crowds drawn by the sale. But both the Walden Galleria and Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls USA stores remained open.
Per local authorities, we cannot accept additional Guests at our locations due to crowd safety concerns. We have closed lines in our stores. We understand some Guests are disappointed and we will reach out directly as soon as possible. https://t.co/aSFfPCcfsG pic.twitter.com/WZJ53tOAEH
— Build-A-Bear Workshop (@buildabear) July 12, 2018
“What was reported as a mob turned out to be a bunch of little kids looking for a bear, and we’re going to make sure they get it,” Zack said.
One officer stood at the entrance to the Walden Galleria store, opening and closing the gate to let customers into the store on a one-to-one ratio as customers left. Police were letting 20 people into the store at a time, getting roughly 100 people through the store per hour.
Zack said the promotion was “not well planned, not well thought out and certainly not well executed,” and said law enforcement would be in touch with both the mall and the toy chain to address what happened. In the meantime, Build-A-Bear Workshop said it will “reach out directly” to disappointed customers as soon as possible. Walden Galleria officials did not immediately respond to questions.