When Build-A-Bear announced “Pay Your Age Day,” no one could contain their excitement.
In fact, the excitement was so strong that local authorities had to intervene as long lines became a safety concern.
Only a few hours after stores opened, there were lines that zigzagged around malls across America.
But that’s not all, at some locations, some claim violent fights broke out as families were told they were not enough bears for everyone.
@buildabear @emma1885 angry and fuming, we are working parents, my wife is having to drive 100 miles after work to get to a store to take up the offer, and now we have a 2 year old in meltdown she’s not getting a bear, perhaps your MD wants to consul her @BBCWatchdog #buildabear
— Dave A (@geekonaleashuk) July 12, 2018
As the situation started to get out of control, Build-A-Bear stores closed down and the company issued this statement below:
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
Gemma Butler, a marketing director for Chartered Institute of Marketing, criticized the Bulid-A-Bear sale, saying, “This was an ill thought-out and unprofessional promotional execution, one that not only risks their own brand reputation, but has the potential to bring the wider marketing sector into disrepute.”
She added, “If their goal was to highlight demand, Build-A-Bear ought to have considered the consequences of thousands of children going home tonight disappointed and in tears.”
Now, only a day after the Build-A-Bear fiasco, Chuck E. Cheese’s announced that they’re offering a “Pay Your Age” sale.
The restaurant company’s official Facebook page announced that on Friday, July 13, you can pay your child’s age for 30 minutes of All You Can Play.
The post reads: “Didn’t get to Build A Bear? Come in on 7/13, pay your child’s age, and they will get 30 minutes of All You Can Play. Offer available Friday, 7/13 only in participating U.S. locations where Chuck E.’s Play Pass is available. (Maximum $9 for 30 minutes).”
It’s undeniable that Build-A-Bear’s promotion was successful, but it was also a disaster in terms of safety.
Will the same thing happen at Chuck E. Cheese’s locations? Only time will tell…