So many customers tried to take advantage of Build-A-Bear's first ever Pay Your Age Day that the retailer announced Thursday that the lines had been closed in all U.S. and Canada stores, citing safety concerns from "local authorities."
Here's the full statement from their website:
Please be aware: Based on the unprecedented response to our Pay Your Age Day event in our early opening stores, we are experiencing significantly longer than expected lines and large crowds. Local authorities are requiring us to limit the lines and crowds due to safety concerns. We understand this is disappointing, we are working to address the situation, and we will be reaching out to our valued Guests soon.
Huge lines were spotted at Build-A-Bear locations that spanned the inside of malls.
After the lines were shut down, the company distributed vouchers for discounted stuffed animals to customers who were still waiting in line. Build-A-Bear Bonus Club members in the U.S. and Canada can also obtain a voucher by logging into their account by midnight on July 15, 2018.
"It is our sincere desire for all of our Guests to enjoy the best Build-A-Bear experience possible. As such, our goal with the voucher extension is to enable us to better flow traffic to the stores over the next several weeks to avoid long lines and wait times as much as possible. Therefore, we strongly encourage Guests to consider delaying their trip to Build-A-Bear, and we appreciate everyone's understanding and patience in this matter," the company said.
The vouchers are good until Aug. 31, 2018.
Prior to the announcement, the promotion had been planned to last throughout the day on July 12. The one-day summer promotion is meant to kick off the retailer's "Count Your Candles" birthday program.
It was previously announced that anyone, young or old, could walk into a Build-A-Bear store on Thursday and purchase a Make-Your-Own stuffed animal for a price that corresponds to that person's age. You're required to enroll in the Build-A-Bear Bonus Club rewards program in order to claim the deal, according to a press release. Kids must get permission from a parent or guardian 18 or older in order to enroll.
The promotion did not require customers to stay and stuff the animal in order to take advantage of the deal, as they had the option to buy their new furry friend unstuffed and come back later to stuff it.
The deal was limited to one stuffed animal per guest. In order to buy an animal for a child, that child had to be present in the store with you.