North America

Toy store 'pay your age' offer ditched after customer chaos

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Customers lined up for up to nine hours for a cheap teddy bear.

Retailer Build-A-Bear was forced to postpone its special "pay your age" promotion, citing "safety concerns", after families queued for up to nine hours to claim the deal.

The retailer, which allows customers to customise their own teddy bear, offers a popular children's stuffed animal that usually sells for $90.

Following a special promotion that would see toys sold for as little as $1, or the equivalent age of the child, families queued up for hours outside US and UK stores to take advantage of the bargain.

But the retailer didn't anticipate kilometre-long queues. Police officers were even called to a store in Leeds, UK, to help with crowd control.

After closing stores due to "safety concerns", Build-A-Bear announced on social media it had abandoned the promotion due to an "overwhelming and unprecedented" response.

One Twitter user visited his local shopping centre in Blackpool, a seaside town in England, and filmed the length of the queue in disbelief.

Build-A-Bear was founded in 1997 and currently operates 400 stores worldwide. It operates a bear-making station and offers children the opportunity to customise their stuffed animal.

It has made more than 160 million teddy bears to date.

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