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Build-A-Bear challenged with greater than expected demand for one-day deal

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The 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. It wrote in a Facebook post it closed lines at its stores in Canada and the U.S. due to overwhelming crowds and safety concerns.

At the shop inside the Chapel Hills Mall in Colorado, people were waiting in a really, REALLY long line (see immediately below) looking to get their chance at the one-day deal. 

Let me expound on how long this line was. Imagine, if you will, HUNDREDS of people waiting in a relatively orderly line that stretched from Build-A-Bear to one end of the mall and then nearly all the way back.

If you're familiar with the area, that means to the Sears and then back to Dick's Sporting Goods. 

Speaking with some of the folks at the front of the line, I discovered that many had been waiting 3 to 5 hours (and had at least 2 hours ahead of them)!

This morning, when it became apparent that the crowd's collective "bear-craving" was proving to be to great to contend with, Build-A-Bear began to pass out $15 vouchers to be used at a later date.

While many took the offer and avoided the line, even more stayed right where they were. As of this article's publication (approx. 5:00 pm) that line is still there. 

According to mall staff, the event will keep going until every last bear is gone or the mall closes for the day, ending the offer that lets customers pay their current age with a cap at $29. 

Need some more shots of that massive line? Don't worry, we have you covered in the form of this (now no longer live) Facebook live!


  
A similar scene played out across the country.

  
  
Customers took to social media to complain afterward. The company said it knew people were disappointed and it would reach out soon. Analyst Neil Saunders of GlobalData said many parents are upset and Build-a-Bear will likely have to make some special offer.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report)

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