Build-A-Bear stores in UK and US forced to abandon special offer due to huge crowds

The company said "we could not have predicted this reaction to our Pay Your Age Day event"

Build-A-Bear stores in UK and US forced to abandon special offer due to huge crowds

Picture by: Niall Carson/PA Wire/PA Images

Build-A-Bear stores in the UK and US have been forced to abandon a 'pay your age' offer after massive queues led to 'safety concerns'.

The retailer - which allows customers to help put together their own stuffed toy - had announced the special event for today.

Under the deal, the company was offering customers the chance to buy a bear - which normally start at around £10 (around €11) - based on a child's age.

However, images shared on social media showed huge crowds gathering at Build-A-Bear Workshop stores in a bid to take advantage of the offer.

The White Rose Shopping Centre in Leeds this morning reported queues of '3+ hours' for the promotion.

Other stores were forced to close due to the level of demand.

A closed sign on the window of the Build-A-Bear store in Belfast where police were called to deal with crowds who turned up for an over subscribed 'pay your age' promotion. Picture by: Niall Carson/PA Wire/PA Images

This evening, a message on the retailer's UK website simply states: "Queues closed for Pay Your Age Day event".

A more in-depth statement on the US website explains: "Build-A-Bear Workshop’s Pay Your Age Day event generated an overwhelming response, resulting in long lines, extensive waits and disappointed guests.

"We feel it is important to share that, based on the information available to us before the day began, we could not have predicted this reaction to our Pay Your Age Day event."

It adds: "Due to safety concerns created by the crowds, authorities in certain locations closed Build-A-Bear stores, and in other locations, we were forced to limit the line.

"Unfortunately, given these circumstances, we were unable to serve all of our guests for the Pay Your Age Day event, as planned."

It adds that vouchers were given to customers who were still in queues when the offer was abandoned.