ST. LOUIS & MINNEAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc. (NYSE: BBW), an interactive destination where guests can create personalized furry friends, is making its iconic in-store experience more fun than ever for kids of all ages with the opening of a new store model revealed today at Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota.
Part of a company-wide brand refresh, the reformatted store, located on the first level in the north wing, officially re-opened its doors this morning after a multi-month renovation. The ribbon-cutting ceremony featured special guests from Parents in Community Action, Inc., a private, non-profit agency that operates Head Start and Early Head Start programs in Hennepin County, Minnesota.
“At Build-A-Bear, our mission is to add a little more heart to life, and this new store design makes our unique, make-your-own furry friend experience even more engaging,” said Sharon Price John, chief executive officer, Build-A-Bear Workshop. “We are taking our signature experience to the next level with new opportunities for family fun and entertainment.”
The Build-A-Bear Workshop store at Mall of America was developed to increase productivity and optimize space while updating the overall brand look. New elements include:
- Sophisticated new logo, store set-up and color palette
- Updated storefront, featuring Build-A-Bear’s distinctive signature teddy bear silhouette
- Bigger than ever (seven-feet tall!) Build-A-Bear stuffer prominently placed in the store’s center
- New “Inspiration Wall” displaying different trends and fashions tied to pop culture, giving guests creative ideas for making each furry friend their own
The Build-A-Bear Workshop store at Mall of America is the third location to open in the new design with a total of 11 stores planned in the format by the end of 2015 The company expects to value-engineer components of the store as it moves from prototype to a standardized model in order to systematically update existing locations and open new doors over the next few years.
Joining John at the opening ceremonies were several architects of the new strategic approach, Build-A-Bear executives Gina Collins, chief marketing officer; Chris Hurt, chief operations officer; Jennifer Kretchmar, chief product officer; Voin Todorovic, chief financial officer; and Eric Fencl, chief administrative officer and general counsel.
Build-A-Bear Brand Refresh Strategy
When Sharon Price John joined the company as CEO in 2013, she led a team that devised a multi-year strategic vision to evolve and extend the power of the Build-A-Bear brand and return the company to profitability. Since then, John has succeeded in elevating the brand to better cater to the millennial consumer and other target audiences, as reflected by ten consecutive quarters of improved operating performance.
The new store design is one of many elements John and her executive team have incorporated into Build-A-Bear’s brand refresh strategy, which was developed after reviewing key data points and business metrics, as well as gathering consumer feedback regarding the company’s brand experience both inside and outside of the store.
Specifically, Build-A-Bear has:
- Refreshed all key brand elements including a new logo for both the company and its stores
- Moved toward an enterprise-selling solution with the launch of an updated, mobile-optimized website designed with millennial moms in mind
- Extended the brand’s “play beyond the plush” with entertainment offerings such as the Bearville Alive YouTube channel, which features original video content and the launch of mobile apps tied to complementary products
- Restructured the company’s product and marketing functions to consistently and simultaneously focus on key segments including younger girls, older girls, boys and gifting and affinity consumers
The updates are being rolled out ahead of Build-A-Bear’s 20th anniversary in 2017.
“As we look forward to celebrating two decades in business, we have begun to reinvent the company in a number of ways, all with a consumer-centric, brand-building and data-driven approach,” said John. “It’s especially exciting to see our brand become ‘multi-generational,’ as parents who first engaged with Build-A-Bear when they were children are now bringing their own children to share in the experience.”
For more Build-A-Bear news, visit the Build-A-Bear newsroom.
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Founded in St. Louis in 1997, Build-A-Bear, a global brand kids love and parents trust, seeks to add a little more heart to life. Build-A-Bear has approximately 400 stores worldwide where guests can create customizable furry friends, including company-owned stores in the United States, Canada, Denmark, Ireland, Puerto Rico, and the United Kingdom, and franchise stores in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, Mexico and the Middle East. The company was named to the FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For® list for the seventh year in a row in 2015. Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc. (NYSE: BBW) posted a total revenue of $392.4 million in fiscal 2014. For more information, visit the Investor Relations section of buildabear.com.