Build-a -Bear Australia has been placed into voluntary administration, following declining revenue noted in their US counterpart’s earnings report.
We all know that excitement of taking our kids to choose, stuff and dress their very own furry buddy. Build-a-Bear has become somewhat iconic among parents. A symbol of excitement, individuality and friendship – not to mention a birthday party ‘wonderland’ of excitement and smiles.
Sadly, the future of the company remains uncertain, however, ten of the 30 stores across Australia will be closing their doors over the next two weeks.
The stores closing include:
- Logan Hyperdome
- Mt Ommaney
- Garden City (WA)
- Green Hills
All remaining Build-a-Bear stores will continue to trade as normal.
Fortunately, all gift cards will be honoured during this time and all staff will receive their normal wage.
The end of an era, but there is still a glimmer of hope.
This may not be the end for the familiar cardboard teddy house we have all come to know and love.
In an age of internet shopping, free shipping and food delivery services, it is no surprise that the company has found a huge drop in their ‘foot traffic’. This, combined with a constant increase in wages, rent and overall operational costs, Build-a-Bear concluded this was the best course of action for the company.
Gavin Port, the Build-a-Bear Chief Executive offers reassurance for the companies future, explaining that this decision to restructure the brand aims for “a more sustainable long-term future for the Build-a-Bear Workshop brand here in Australia”
“We have an incredibly dedicated team, and have an established brand that resonates with consumers of all ages. We want to thank our entire team and our valued customers and suppliers who have been great supporters of the brand over the last 14 years.”
The company will continue to focus on bringing smiles and a unique experience to our guests.”
Chief Executive, Sharon Price John, explained that there were various factors that pushed Build-a-Bear Australia to make the call for voluntary administration. She stated,
“Waning consumer confidence related to Brexit and new privacy laws that inhibited consumer communication in our largest international market, the United Kingdom, resulted in disappointing financial results for the year on a consolidated basis,” she said in a statement.
“Other impacts for the year included the full-year closure of our most profitable, multi-million-dollar retail store, the liquidation of Toys ‘R’ Us, the impact of new accounting standards and tax policies, and lower licensed product sales due to the significant reduction in family-centric movie properties.”