Sale shuts down after Build-A-Bear promotion causes chaos at Metro Detroit malls

Build-A-Bear promotion sparks massive response around country

TROY, Mich. – Build-A-Bear caused chaos at malls around the country and in Metro Detroit, after offering an unbeatable deal that it couldn't live up to.

An advertisement was posted online for Build-A-Bear's "Pay Your Age Day" promotion. Local 4's Hank Winchester checked out two malls in Metro Detroit and found the promotion to be so successful it turned out to be a failure.

Children were crying and parents were upset by the chaos from the promotion. The lines were more outrageous than Black Friday shopping, with hundreds of people taking over the Somerset Collection and 12 Oaks Mall.

Customers went to the malls to get a bear for a bargain, but most of them left angry and disappointed.

"I got a little mad, but it is what it is, I guess," shopper Lydia said.

"We left the house at 8," shopper Carrie said.

Build-A-Bear said that children would be able to pay their age for a bear. But executives didn't bank on the overwhelming response. Police were called in to help control the crowds.

Only a small number of people who started standing in line around 6 a.m. Thursday got the deal, while the rest settled for $15 off vouchers to be used later.

"The response to our 'Pay Your Age Day' event has been overwhelming and unprecedented in our 21-year history," Build-A-Bear said in a statement. "Per local authorities, we cannot accept additional guests at our U.S. Build-A-Bear workshop locations due to crowd and safety concerns. We have closed lines in our U.S. stores. We understand some of our guests are disappointed and we will reach out directly as soon as possible."

You can watch Hank Winchester's full story in the video posted above.

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