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Build-A-Bear Analysis

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  • October 2013
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The Build-A-Bear Experience

Section One
“Build-A-Bear” is a store that offers an interactive make-your-own stuffed animal retail-entertainment experience. Customers have the opportunity to create their own unique stuffed animal complete with clothing and accessories of their choice. Each customer chooses an unstuffed animal and then works with staff members through eight “creation stations”: choose me, hear me, stuff me, stitch me, fluff me, dress me, name me, and take me home (in new stores there is a ninth station, love me). This is a fun, creative place where children can express themselves by making their animal their own, dressing it and giving it a personality and a name.

“Build-A-Bear’s” core customer is an eight-year-old girl; however, the concept appeals to a broad range of age groups and demographics, including children, teens, parents and grandparents. They also target parents whose kids could want to have a birthday party at “Build-A-Bear”. The average customer visit two to three times a year, either to create a new animal or to buy outfits. Therefore, previous customers are of course targeted. Overall, it is about the children. They have “cub advisors” who provide constant feedback, allowing “Build-A-Bear” to know exactly what their target customer wants and why.

The objective of the “Build-A-Bear” experience is to bring the fun back to retailing. It is about creating a personal, magical connection with customers. Their mission is to deliver experienced-based shopping and to fulfill the widespread demand for stuffed animals.

At the end of 2012 the “Build-A-Bear” company owned 351 retail stores in the US, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Ireland, including 283 traditional and eight non-traditional “Build-A-Bear” workshop stores in the US and Canada and 60 traditional stores in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Franchises operated 91 “Build-A-Bear” stores in other international locations,...

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