Last week, Build-A-Bear Australia hosted its first 'Pay Your Age Day' to kick off its 'We Heart Birthdays' program.


The day saw over 10,000 customers across the country turn out to participate, with lines of 300-500 people at most locations, according to Build-A-Bear's chief executive director, Gavin Port.


Port said that the Australian team planned accordingly for large lines, based on the insights gained from the US experience.


“The event was a huge success for our brand and guests alike, with well over 10,000 guests participating in the one day event.


“There was a large number of guests attending with one and two year olds gaining their first experience with the brand, and now planning future visits.


“Guests in most locations wait[ed] up to 5 hours, yet due to our thorough strategic planning based on the US experience, and methodical implementation, the lines were well coordinated and kept moving forward in a timely manner.


“In addition our landlords were exceptional partners on the day to ensure the guests experience with the brand and mall provided a positive outcome to entice further visits to both.


"The Pay Your Age Promotion was to launch our new Birthday Treats bear offer. The offer being to visit any one of our stores during your birthday month and receive the bear for only $10.


"In the first few days of this new ongoing offer, we have seen a lift in sales of this bear by nearly 100 per cent."


The reaction to the day on Build-A-Bear's Facebook page is mixed, with some users saying the lines were far too long, while others commented that it was worth the wait.


“The queues were huge at Fountain Gate. By 11am they had run out of the blue bear. Would have been great if you had a separate queue for those happy to purchase their bear but fill it another day. We couldn't wait the two hours to get to the front. Not very well organised unfortunately,” one user wrote.


While another commented: “We waited about two hours but the staff are still treating everyone with a big smile on their faces and being so patient with all the mini bear makers. Thank you so much for today. My daughter loves her new bear so much.”


The 'Pay Your Age Day' was held on 15 November.


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