Build-A-Bear Workshop was founded in 1997 by Maxine Clark. The first store opened up in St. Louis and was founded as "an interactive entertainment retail experience based on the enduring love and friendship that connects us all to stuffed animals, especially to the teddy bear". The company mascot was Bearemy, was born on August 21st 1998 in St. Louis. Within the first 4 months of operation, the company's sales were nearly $400,000.
In 1999, partially due to its success, Build-A-Bear Workshop opened 10 new stores with venture capital. In 2002, the workshop celebrated the 100th anniversary of the teddy bear and also opened its 100th store. In 2003, the company focused on expanding globally and began in England and Canada. Today there are 400 stores worldwide with company owned stores in Puerto Rico, Canada, the UK, and Ireland, and franchised stores in Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa, Mexico and the Middle East.   
Porter's 5 Forces[pic]
Build-A-Bear Workshop doesn't face any direct competitors to what it creates. It is the dominant company in the industry and has control of the market. Build-A-Bears competitors would not be direct competitors, but competitors such as pillow pets, Webkinz, Hallmark. Pillow pets are pillows that are shaped like animals such as penguins, bunny's, ducks, dolphins, and several other animals.  WebKinz are stuffed animals that also come with a code which allows you to go online and make your pet into a virtual pet.  Hallmark is another example of a company that makes stuffed animals for any occasion.  All these competitors have stuffed animals, but none give you the option to go into the store like Build-A-Bear and create your own, stuff it and dress it. All of the competitors already have the stuffed animal created and the customer just buys it.
Threat of Substitute Products or Services[pic]
Threats of substitutes or services is very low since Build-A-Bear is very different from its competitors. Build-A-Bear has such a strong market share that a threat of a competitor coming into the industry is very low. There is always a substitute of the product since the end result is a stuffed animal, which is easily found, but the experience and the entire process of a child getting their own Build-A-Bear stuffed animal is something that wont be easily recreated. Also, the industry for stuffed animals isn't something that can grow much more. There isn't a demand for stuffed animals that can create the market to grow significantly from where it is today.
Bargaining Power of Buyers[pic]
Build-A-Bear Workshop customers do not have much power because of the control that Build-A-Bear has in the market. There is no direct competitor to Build-A-Bear and this gives them more power to control and less power to the consumer.
Bargaining Power of Suppliers[pic]
In the Teddy Bear industry, suppliers do not have too much bargaining power. A company like Build-A-Bear, who specializes in creating Teddy Bears, has a high demand for quality suppliers. Suppliers of the materials do not have too many choices for competition and the products are not that difficult to produce.
At the same time Build-A-Bear has a low bargaining power with its suppliers because it needs the supplies to create the teddy bears. This includes the stuffing, the teddy bears, and any accessories including the clothing and shoes. If there is a shortage, the store would be facing problems since they do not create anything other than stuffed animals.
Barriers to Entry[pic]
The threat of entry of new competition is neither high nor low. It is easy for a competitor to open a store at any shopping mall to sell stuffed animals just like Build-A-Bear. Stuffed animals is something that is found in every house and is something that every kid in America grows up having. However, due to the market...
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