ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- Build-A-Bear Workshop said they are turning down additional customers at their United States and Canada stores as crowds swarmed their stores for 'Pay Your Age' day.
The company said via a Facebook post that "due to crowds and safety concerns...we have closed lines in our U.S. and Canada stores. We understand some Guests are disappointed and we will reach out directly as soon as possible."
Crowds formed at all St. Louis area locations. A News 4 photographer estimated more than one thousand people in line at the West County Mall and a similar size crowd formed at the Galleria, as some people said they have been waiting for multiple hours.
The company said earlier this week that for one-day only the age of a guest will determine how much their furry friend will cost.
Build-A-Bear issued the following statement regarding the event:
The response to our Pay Your Age Day event has been overwhelming and unprecedented in our 21-year history, and the safety of our Guests and associates is our top priority. The crowds have greatly exceeded our expectations and, per local authorities, U.S. stores cannot accept any additional Guests for this event and are limiting lines due to extreme crowds and safety concerns. We understand our affected Guests may be disappointed, and we are working to address the situation. We will reach out directly to our valued Guests as soon as possible.
Later Thursday afternoon, Build-A-Bear issued another statement stating they distributed vouchers to guests that were present in line at the time of the closure of the event:
In response, we distributed vouchers to Guests, who were present in lines, to be redeemed for a future purchase. We are now making vouchers available to our Build-A-Bear Bonus Club members in the U.S. and Canada who log into their account by midnight on July 15, 2018. Vouchers related to this event will be honored through August 31, 2018.
It is our sincere desire for all of our Guests to enjoy the best Build-A-Bear experience possible. As such, our goal with the voucher extension is to enable us to better flow traffic to the stores over the next several weeks to avoid long lines and wait times as much as possible. Therefore, we strongly encourage Guests to consider delaying their trip to Build-A-Bear, and we appreciate everyone’s understanding and patience in this matter.
"We came back today we had success and we survived," said Amy Granda.
After a two hour wait, Granda walked out of the Build-A-Bear store with two stuffed animals for her children Friday. Granda and many others returned with $15 vouchers offered by the company.
"It was pretty smooth. The machine broke one time but they fixed it quickly and we're happy customers," said Granda.
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