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Build-A-Bear Workshop

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Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc. is an American retailer headquartered in Overland, Missouri, that sells teddy bears and other stuffed animals and characters. Customers go through an interactive process in which the stuffed animal of their choice is assembled and tailored to their own preferences during their visit to the store. Build-A-Bear Workshop is the largest chain that operates in this style. The company has been acclaimed for the quality of its working environment, especially for teenagers who are just starting their first jobs.[3] The company's slogan was "Where Best Friends Are Made" from 1997-2013, when it was changed to "The Most Fun You'll Ever Make".[4]

Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc.
Public company
Traded asNYSEBBW
Russell Microcap Index component
FoundedOctober 26, 1997; 21 years ago (1997-10-26)
St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.
FounderMaxine Clark
HeadquartersOverland, Missouri, U.S.[1]
Key people
Maxine Clark (founder)
Sharon Price John (President/CEO)
ProductsStuffed toys
Sports Stuff
RevenueDecrease US$358 million (2017)[2]
Number of employees
~5,643 (2011)

After Toys "R" Us announced plans to close all 735 of its U.S. stores in March 2018, Build-A-Bear Workshop remained as the only major toy retailer to survive the retail apocalypse.[5]


A Build-A-Bear Workshop at Vaughan Mills in Toronto

Build-A-Bear has also engaged in various charities, including the WWF Collecti-bear series which has given over $1,000,000 (USD) to the World Wildlife Fund.[6] As part of its tenth anniversary celebrations, the company built 11 playgrounds throughout the U.S. and Canada in partnership with KaBOOM! and announced that it had donated over $11,000,000 to various child and family causes since 1994. A Build-A-Bear Workshop video game was developed by The Game Factory and released for the Nintendo DS platform for Christmas 2009.

Build-A-Bear created several tie-in stuffed animals for various promotional events, including a toy The Cat in the Hat, a toy Shrek, a toy Cody Maverick penguin from Surf's Up, a toy Mumble from Happy Feet, a toy E.B. from Hop, both Alvin and Brittany from the Alvin and the Chipmunks film series, a Jonas dog, a Shake It Up bunny and a Wizards of Waverly Place bear. Build-A-Bear workshop has also released several lines of miniature toys included in Happy Meals at McDonald's restaurants, running first in May 2006[7] followed by a second promotion in August 2007, a third in October 2009, a fourth one in February 2012, and fifth in November 2013. In November 2015, they came back to McDonald's. These were only available at McDonald's branches in the United States. Build-A-Bear has been licensed since 2013 by Hasbro to sell characters based on My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.[8]

In 2005 Build-A-Bear tryed to expand their brand starting with Friends 2B Made

In 2010, in honor of the Sanrio company's fiftieth anniversary, Build-A-Bear released limited edition Sanrio characters, including Hello Kitty, Chococat, My Melody, and Keroppi. This included the release of mini-keychains of the four characters along with Deery Lou.[9]

Starting in 2011, Build-A-Bear added Victoria Justice as their new spokesperson. In the mid-year, she began appearing in all Build-A-Bear Workshop commercials. Build-A-Bear also released a feature film available on the iPad through MoPix in December 2011.[10]

On July 12, 2018, Build-A-Bear held an event in the United Kingdom, United States and Canada where patrons could pay their child’s age for a bear.[11] The relative low price of the stuffed bears for the ages of small children compared to their normal prices at roughly £52 for a first-rate stuffed animal accounted for the massive numbers of people who overwhelmed the franchise's stores as well as shopping malls that rent space to the franchise. Police were needed for crowd control at the Leeds store branch because disputes between customers escalated to the point of immediate danger for other customers. When asked by a journalist for The Guardian what it was like to be manager at the Fenwick store location during the chaos, the manager called her boss in a panic and replied “We’re not allowed to talk to anyone. No interviews.” [12]


  1. ^ "New Build-A-Bear CEO upbeat on turnaround, future". St. Louis Post-dispatch. January 19, 2014. Retrieved July 31, 2011.
  2. ^ "Income Statement for Build-A-Bear Workshop Inc (BBW) from". Morningstar. Retrieved July 13, 2018.
  3. ^ "Seventeen Special – 10 Best Companies: Apply for jobs at these great companies!". Archived from the original on April 16, 2008.
  4. ^ "Build-A-Bear Workshop Inc. History". Retrieved October 26, 2017.
  5. ^ BAHLER, KRISTEN (March 27, 2018). "As Toys R' Us Closes, Only One Major Toy Store Is Thriving in the Retail Apocalypse".
  6. ^ Build-A-Bear Workshop Donates $1 Million for World Wildlife Fund Archived December 1, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, March 7, 2006
  7. ^ Build-A-Bear Workshop(R) Featured in McDonald's(R) Happy Meal(R) and Mighty Kids Meals; Summer of Happy Meal Fun Series Includes First-Ever Plush Collection with Removable Clothing Archived December 1, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, May 10, 2006
  8. ^ "My Little Pony Stuffed Animals at Build-A-Bear".
  9. ^ "Hello Kitty and Sanrio Friends Celebrate Sanrio's 50th Anniversary at Build-A-Bear Workshop". Retrieved August 17, 2018.
  10. ^ "Build-A-Bear Workshop". Retrieved August 17, 2018.
  11. ^ "Shut out of Build-a-Bear 'Pay Your Age Day'? Try this birthday month deal instead". Retrieved August 17, 2018.
  12. ^ "Fluffed it! The truth about Build-A-Bear's day of mayhem".

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