Located in upscale, family-oriented shopping malls, Build-A-Bear Workshop Inc. owns and operates more than 150 stores in 35 states in the United States and three provinces in Canada. Retail store developments in Europe and Asia occur through franchise agreement. Build-A-Bear Workshop offers a unique retail entertainment experience in providing children of all ages an opportunity to participate in the creation of a personalized teddy bear or other stuffed animal. Customers, referred to as Guest Bear-Builders, walk along The Bearway and stop at stations in a process of teddy bear construction. At the Choose Me station customers select a toy animal "skin" from a variety of colors and sizes. At the Hear Me station patrons can choose to have a sound microchip placed inside the stuffed animal. The next stop is the Stuff Me station where they decide on stuffing firmness or softness and use a foot pedal to operate a machine that the Master Bear Builder uses to stuff the plush animal. After choosing a small, heart-shaped, red satin pillow, customers are encouraged to rub and kiss the heart, make a wish, and then place it into the toy animal before the Master Bear Builder closes loosely embedded stitches. The stuffed animal can be fluffed and groomed under an air blower at the Huff Me station.
At the Name Me station, a childlike voice accompanies the process of entering the name of the new friend into a computer. Customers choose between a birth certificate signed by Chief Executive Bear Maxine Clark or a storybook about how the toy is made. Personal information is used to track owners of lost teddy bears through a corresponding barcode placed inside each plush animal. At the Bear Boutiques shoppers can choose from a wide variety of teddy bear clothing and accessories, including formal and casual attire and clothing for specific activities or holidays. Choices range from tuxedos and wedding gowns, to denim skirts and pants, camouflage pants,...
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