Build-A-Bear chaos: Thousands line up at Strongsville store as chain halts ‘Pay Your Age Day’

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

STRONGSVILLE, Ohio -- Thousands of customers wrapped around the SouthPark Mall Build-A-Bear store Thursday morning hoping to get a furry friend at a cheap price.

But due to the huge response for "Pay Your Age Day" around the country, Build-A-Bear said all lines in all stores would not accept any more guests due to crowds and safety concerns.

According to Build-A-Bear Workshop's Facebook page:

"Per local authorities, we cannot accept additional Guests at our locations due to crowds and safety concerns. We have closed lines in our U.S. and Canada stores. We understand some Guests are disappointed and we will reach out directly as soon as possible."

Customers who were not able to get in line are being offered a $15 voucher for a future visit.

"Pay Your Age Day" was announced earlier this week. Customers were told that today they could pay their current age for any make-your-own furry friend in all stores in the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom.

In Strongsville, Build-A-Bear opened at 10 a.m. By 11 a.m., the chain announced that all lines were closed.

A press representative for the SouthPark Mall location said over 2,500 people were in line, and shared these photos:

The event was meant to kick off the chain's "new, everyday celebration of birthdays."

As of July 12, shoppers who are 14 years old or younger can pay their age for a Birthday Treat Bear during their birthday month as part of the “Count Their Candles” promotion, which will be available all year long. It's not clear if that program has changed.

Continuing coverage.

Social media responded:


Google Map for coordinates 41.314497 by -81.835690.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.