Build-A-Bear Workshop

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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
Sharon Price John (President/CEO)
ProductsStuffed toys
Sports Stuff
RevenueDecrease US$358 million (2017)[2]
Number of employees
~5,643 (2011)

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]


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

In 2005, Build-A-Bear tried to expand their brand with Friends 2B Made, a make-your-own-doll concept store. The company operated nine of these stores until fall 2009, when they were all shuttered and/or converted into expanded Build-A-Bear outlets.[5]

A Build-A-Bear Workshop video game was developed by The Game Factory and released for the Nintendo DS platform for Christmas 2007.[6] A Build-A-Bear game for the Nintendo Wii, subtitled A Friend Fur All Seasons, was released in fall 2008.

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.[7]

Build-A-Bear released a feature film, available on the iPad through MoPix, in December 2011.[8] Cepia, LLC settled a patent and copyright infringement lawsuit over a color-changing bear against BAB in 2013.[9] In 2015, Build-A-Bear was sued for discriminating against blind people for lack of accessible point-of-sale machines in their shops.[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 relatively low price of the stuffed bears for younger children attracted massive numbers of people, overwhelming the franchise's stores as well as many shopping malls in which Build-A-Bear franchises were located. The event prompted a surge in public awareness of the Build-A-Bear brand, according to a subsequent YouGov poll, nearly all of which was negative.[12]

During the 2018 holiday season, Build-A-Bear opened six pop-up pilot shops in Walmart stores. The success of the pilot led to the expansion of Build-A-Bear into a further 25 Walmart locations in 2019.[13] Build-A-Bear Workshop teamed up with Arts Music and Warner Chappell Music in July 2019 to partner on the Build-A-Bear label with Patrick Hughes and Harvey Russell on board to guide the label.[14]


  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. ^ "UPDATE 2-Build-A-Bear to close friends 2B made concept". Reuters. September 16, 2008. Retrieved June 6, 2019.
  6. ^ Build-A-Bear Workshop - IGN, retrieved June 6, 2019
  7. ^ "Hello Kitty and Sanrio Friends Celebrate Sanrio's 50th Anniversary at Build-A-Bear Workshop". Retrieved August 17, 2018.
  8. ^ "Build-A-Bear Workshop". Retrieved August 17, 2018.
  9. ^ "Build-A-Bear, Cepia settle patent lawsuit". St. Louis Business Journal. August 27, 2013. Retrieved July 15, 2019.
  10. ^ Unglesbee, Ben (June 3, 2015). "Lawsuit accuses Build-A-Bear of discriminating against blind people". St. Louis Business Journal. Retrieved July 15, 2019.
  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".
  13. ^ Fernandez, Henry (June 3, 2019). "Build-A-Bear and Walmart team up, fending off retail apocalypse". FOXBusiness. Retrieved June 6, 2019.
  14. ^ Cirisano, Tatiana (July 9, 2019). "Build-A-Bear Workshop Launches New Record Label With Warner Music Group & Warner Chappell". Billboard. Retrieved July 16, 2019.

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