Build-A-Bear Workshop to Open 20-25 Newly Imagined Stores Throughout North America
ST. LOUIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Build-A-Bear Workshop®, the interactive entertainment retailer of customized stuffed animals, announced today that it plans to continue expanding its new award-winning store design in 2013. The newly designed stores received rave reviews when they were introduced in six locations in the U.S. in the fall of 2012. Overall sales in these locations have exceeded expectations. Given the strong results, Build-A-Bear Workshop plans to open 20-25 stores in the new design throughout North America in 2013.
"At Build-A-Bear Workshop, we are continually innovating to provide breakthrough experiences and products for our tech-savvy Guests," said Maxine Clark, founder and chief executive bear of Build-A-Bear Workshop. "We are thrilled to bring our newly imagined store to more of our Guests throughout North America."
The first three stores to open in 2013 are:
Mall of Georgia in metro Atlanta, Ga. on Friday, April 26
Orland Square in metro Chicago, Ill. on Friday, May 3
Northshore Mall in Peabody, Mass. on Friday, May 10
A number of the stores opening this year are located in Simon Properties, including the Mall of Georgia, Orland Square and Northshore Mall. "Simon Properties and Build-A-Bear Workshop have had a wonderful relationship for many years," said Barney Quinn, executive vice president, Simon Property Group. "We are excited for Build-A-Bear Workshop to bring its newly designed store concept to a number of our malls. As the leader in the interactive retail space, Build-A-Bear Workshop is providing a special destination within our malls that we know families will enjoy for years to come."
The new stores heighten the traditional bear-making experience with a bold new design that incorporates modern technology. Guests who visit the new store will see a noticeable change to the company's trademarked stuffed animal-making experience including:
An interactive storefront that is enabled by Microsoft's Kinect technology and interactive touch elements. Guests can play games and view the latest product offerings as they enter the store.
The Love Me station allows Guests to customize their furry friends with special personality attributes displayed as emoticons on an interactive table. Using Samsung's SUR40 with Microsoft® PixelSense™ technology, Guests add unique traits - like brave, silly, and smart - to their red satin heart, which is added to their stuffed animal during the Stuff Me process.
The Hear Me station features an assortment of high quality sounds that can be added to stuffed animals. Using an interactive touch screen, Guests can select and load popular hits from current music, sounds, or their own voice onto a chip to further personalize their stuffed animal.
The Fluff Me station features a digital bath tub enabled by Samsung's SUR40 with Microsoft® PixelSense™ technology. The tub magically recognizes the items as they are placed on it and reacts with sensory effects such as virtual bubbles that appear when play soap is placed on the "water surface."
The Name Me station, where Guests use a viewfinder or "bear-o-scope" to reveal the special attributes they added to their stuffed animal. At Name Me, Guests also create a one-of-a-kind birth certificate that includes a photo of their new furry friend.
These interactive elements allow Guests to personalize the bear-making process and have a different experience each time they visit. The stores include a number of technology platforms that enable Build-A-Bear Workshop to continue to update the store experience. Similar to how one might download a new app to a mobile device, the company is able to update the stations inside the store with interactive experiences that are relevant to certain product launches and seasons.
About the Newly Imagined Build-A-Bear Workshop Stores
Build-A-Bear Workshop, the interactive entertainment retailer of customized stuffed animals, has created a newly imagined store design that merges the love of a teddy bear with the best of technology. In 2012, the company opened six newly imaged stores in select markets across the U.S. The newly imagined store received the Digital Signage Expo 2013 Award of the Year and a Gold Apex Award in Retail. In 2012, the store received Retail TouchPoints Customer Engagement Award for in-store experience and was the first brick and mortar store to receive the WiredTrust Socially Safe Seal. By 2014, the company expects to refresh 40 to 50 locations with either full or partial elements of the new design format. To learn more about the newly imagined Build-A-Bear Workshop store, take a virtual tour at http://bit.ly/QAoJqJ.
About Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc.
Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc. is the only global company that offers an interactive make-your-own stuffed animal retail-entertainment experience. There are more than 400 Build-A-Bear Workshop stores worldwide, including company-owned stores in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Canada, the United Kingdom and Ireland, and franchise stores in Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa, the Middle East, Mexico and South America. Founded in St. Louis in 1997, Build-A-Bear Workshop is the leader in interactive retail. Brands include make-your-own Major League Baseball® mascot in-stadium locations, and Build-A-Dino® stores. Build-A-Bear Workshop extends its in-store interactive experience online with its award winning virtual world website at bearville.com™. The company was named to the FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For® list for the fifth year in a row in 2013. Build-A-Bear Workshop (NYS: BBW) posted total revenue of $380.9 million in fiscal 2012. For more information, call 888.560.BEAR (2327) or visit the company's award-winning website at buildabear.com®.
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