Build-a-Bear Australia has been placed into voluntary administration, after the US parent company reported stagnant international growth and a 7.5 per cent drop in revenue.
10 of the 30 Build-a-Bear stores across Australia will be closed within a fortnight, while the remaining stores will continue to trade as normal. The closing locations are: Logan Hyperdome, Kawana, Mt Ommaney, Werribee, Eastland, Garden City (WA), Carousel, Marion, Green Hills and Miranda.
Operating costs, including wages and rent, and a decrease in foot traffic in shopping centres spelled the demise for the 10 Build-A-Bear Australian stores.
Chief executive of Build-a-Bear Australia, Gavin Port, said that closing these stores will help to make the store footprint more sustainable.
"[We] are taking this action to restructure [Build-a-Bear’s] retail footprint for a more sustainable long-term future for the Build-a-Bear Workshop brand here in Australia.
“We have an incredibly dedicated team, and have an established brand that resonates with consumers of all ages. We want to thank our entire team and our valued customers and suppliers who have been great supporters of the brand over the last 14 years.
“The company will continue to focus on bringing smiles and a unique experience to our guests," he said.
In its Q4 financial report the US parent cited the challenges presented by the closure of Toys R Us, GDPR laws and the difficulties posed by Brexit, as some of the reasons for its financial downturn.
Matt Sweeny and Gideon Rathner of Lowe Lippman have been appointed as administrators of Build-a-Bear Australia.