NEW YORK — Build-A-Bear Workshop's "Pay Your Age" promotion proved too popular.
The chain known for its customizable teddy bears and other stuffed toys couldn't handle the crowds Thursday and had to turn shoppers away. It wrote in a Facebook post it closed lines at its stores in Canada and the U.S. due to overwhelming crowds and safety concerns.
The offer, which let customers buy a bear and pay their current age with a cap at $29, was also available at its United Kingdom stores.
Customers took to social media to complain afterward. The company said it knew people were disappointed and it would reach out soon.
There are three Build-A-Bear locations in Arkansas, according to the company’s website.
An employee at the Jonesboro branch at The Mall at Turtle Creek said the store was still open and honoring the pay-your-age promotion as of 3:15 p.m. She did not know how many customers had been served Thursday but said the staff had been “very busy."
A phone call to the Rogers location was met with a busy signal Thursday afternoon.
In Little Rock, Roze Sharp was one of hundreds of people who stood in line at the workshop at Park Plaza mall.
The mother of four had arrived at 9 a.m. from Benton and stood in line for six hours with her 15-month-old, 22-month-old, 4-year-old and 13-year-old.
“It’s been a long wait, but it’s been fine,” she said. “We got to a point where we’d been here so long it was too late to turn back.”
She was nearing the front of the line by 4 p.m.
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reporter Jaime Dunaway contributed to this story.