Build-A-Bear ends pay-your-age special because of massive turnout

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     QUEUES Families have waited 9 hours for a bear

Customers can sign up online ahead of time or in-store at the time of purchase.

The company wrote in a Facebook post that it closed lines at its stores in Canada and the US due to overwhelming crowds and safety concerns.

The website said local authorities helped them make the decision to close lines in all US stores.

The promotion allows customers to make a furry friend of their choice for the price of their current age, in dollars.

A notice on the Build-A-Bear Events page said the lines have now closed due to unprecedented demand.

The event was created to promote the store's new "Count Your Candles" program, which lets kids 14 and under pay their age for Build-A-Bear's Birthday Treat Bear - which normally costs $14 - during their birthday month.

Local Build-A-Bear Workshops are located in Springfield and Peoria.

Build-A-Bear caused mall madness around the globe Thursday during their "Pay Your Age" promotion.

It started when Build-A-Bear announced they would be hosting a "Pay Your Age Day" at their stores worldwide. "He's 7-years-old and I figured he needs one", O'Brien said. The lines were more outrageous than Black Friday shopping, with hundreds of people taking over the Somerset Collection and 12 Oaks Mall.

Some social media users reported getting rain checks or gift certificates while being turned away, though it seemed to be on a store-by-store basis.

The business began issuing vouchers for $15 off a Build-A-Bear in the future. We understand our affected Guests may be disappointed, and we are working to address the situation.

Photos from Build-A-Bears show chaotic scenes and long lines.

"Please note: all stores in the United Kingdom are reporting similar crowds and lines, and they can no longer accept additional guests for this event".

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