Build-A-Bear promotion ends badly

Eight-year-old Skylar Baughey, of Clearwater, Fla., hugs her troll moments after completing its construction at the Build-A-Bear Workshop at Westfield Countryside Mall Thursday, July 12, 2018, in Clearwater, Fla. Baughey had stood in line with her family for more than four hours before gaining access to the store due to the overwhelming response to the event. The company wrote in a Facebook post that it closed lines at its stores in Canada and the U.S. due to overwhelming crowds and safety concerns. (Douglas R. Clifford/Tampa Bay Times via AP) -
The second-floor breezeway is full of customers waiting in line to participate in Build-A-Bear Workshop's Pay Your Age event at Westfield Countryside Mall Thursday, July 12, 2018, in Clearwater, Fla. Build-A-Bear has announced that they are no longer accepting customers for the event at all of its U.S. and Canada store locations because of safety concerns caused by an overwhelming response. (Douglas R. Clifford/Tampa Bay Times via AP) -
Parents and kids wait in line for close to an hour at Coral Square mall in Coral Springs, Fla., for the Build-A-Bear Workshop Pay Your Age day event, Thursday, July 12, 2018. Customers were allowed customers to purchase a bear and pay their current age with a cap at $29, which was also available at its United Kingdom stores. The chain known for its customizable teddy bears and other stuffed toys couldn't handle the crowds Thursday and had to turn shoppers away. (Carline Jean/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP) -
Skylar Baughey, 8, of Clearwater, Fla., hugs her troll moments after completing its construction at the Build-A-Bear Workshop at Westfield Countryside Mall on Thursday in Clearwater. Baughey stood in line with her family for more than four hours before gaining access to the store due to the overwhelming response to the event. The company wrote in a Facebook post that it closed lines at its stores in Canada and the U.S. due to overwhelming crowds and safety concerns. - - Douglas R. Clifford | Tampa Bay Times via AP

NEW YORK (AP) — Build-A-Bear Workshop’s “Pay Your Age” promotion proved too popular. The chain known for its customizable teddy bears and other stuffed toys couldn’t handle the crowds Thursday, and had to turn shoppers away.

The company wrote in a Facebook post that it closed lines at its stores in Canada and the U.S. due to overwhelming crowds and safety concerns. The offer, which let customers with youngsters in tow buy a bear and pay their current age with a cap at $29, was also available at its United Kingdom stores.

Customers took to social media to complain afterward. Analyst Neil Saunders of GlobalData said in a report that “the decision to shut stores and end the promotion early was necessary on both safety and operational grounds, but it will damage the brand.”

Later Thursday, the company said it distributed vouchers to customers in line that can be redeemed for a purchase through Aug. 31. It said the goal is to better control traffic at the stores and prevent long lines and significant wait times.

Eight-year-old Skylar Baughey, of Clearwater, Fla., hugs her troll moments after completing its construction at the Build-A-Bear Workshop at Westfield Countryside Mall Thursday, July 12, 2018, in Clearwater, Fla. Baughey had stood in line with her family for more than four hours before gaining access to the store due to the overwhelming response to the event. The company wrote in a Facebook post that it closed lines at its stores in Canada and the U.S. due to overwhelming crowds and safety concerns. (Douglas R. Clifford/Tampa Bay Times via AP)
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_120842656-c5e5614a097e45f18eb6cdbb1faaff62.jpgEight-year-old Skylar Baughey, of Clearwater, Fla., hugs her troll moments after completing its construction at the Build-A-Bear Workshop at Westfield Countryside Mall Thursday, July 12, 2018, in Clearwater, Fla. Baughey had stood in line with her family for more than four hours before gaining access to the store due to the overwhelming response to the event. The company wrote in a Facebook post that it closed lines at its stores in Canada and the U.S. due to overwhelming crowds and safety concerns. (Douglas R. Clifford/Tampa Bay Times via AP)

The second-floor breezeway is full of customers waiting in line to participate in Build-A-Bear Workshop’s Pay Your Age event at Westfield Countryside Mall Thursday, July 12, 2018, in Clearwater, Fla. Build-A-Bear has announced that they are no longer accepting customers for the event at all of its U.S. and Canada store locations because of safety concerns caused by an overwhelming response. (Douglas R. Clifford/Tampa Bay Times via AP)
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_120842656-bebc711e14e7431abc4ea3c22ef664d8.jpgThe second-floor breezeway is full of customers waiting in line to participate in Build-A-Bear Workshop’s Pay Your Age event at Westfield Countryside Mall Thursday, July 12, 2018, in Clearwater, Fla. Build-A-Bear has announced that they are no longer accepting customers for the event at all of its U.S. and Canada store locations because of safety concerns caused by an overwhelming response. (Douglas R. Clifford/Tampa Bay Times via AP)

Parents and kids wait in line for close to an hour at Coral Square mall in Coral Springs, Fla., for the Build-A-Bear Workshop Pay Your Age day event, Thursday, July 12, 2018. Customers were allowed customers to purchase a bear and pay their current age with a cap at $29, which was also available at its United Kingdom stores. The chain known for its customizable teddy bears and other stuffed toys couldn’t handle the crowds Thursday and had to turn shoppers away. (Carline Jean/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP)
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_120842656-56878b09291e47cdb52626f3e892519e.jpgParents and kids wait in line for close to an hour at Coral Square mall in Coral Springs, Fla., for the Build-A-Bear Workshop Pay Your Age day event, Thursday, July 12, 2018. Customers were allowed customers to purchase a bear and pay their current age with a cap at $29, which was also available at its United Kingdom stores. The chain known for its customizable teddy bears and other stuffed toys couldn’t handle the crowds Thursday and had to turn shoppers away. (Carline Jean/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP)

Skylar Baughey, 8, of Clearwater, Fla., hugs her troll moments after completing its construction at the Build-A-Bear Workshop at Westfield Countryside Mall on Thursday in Clearwater. Baughey stood in line with her family for more than four hours before gaining access to the store due to the overwhelming response to the event. The company wrote in a Facebook post that it closed lines at its stores in Canada and the U.S. due to overwhelming crowds and safety concerns.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_BuildABear.cmyk_.jpgSkylar Baughey, 8, of Clearwater, Fla., hugs her troll moments after completing its construction at the Build-A-Bear Workshop at Westfield Countryside Mall on Thursday in Clearwater. Baughey stood in line with her family for more than four hours before gaining access to the store due to the overwhelming response to the event. The company wrote in a Facebook post that it closed lines at its stores in Canada and the U.S. due to overwhelming crowds and safety concerns. Douglas R. Clifford | Tampa Bay Times via AP