Oh no! Build-a-Bear Workshop has been placed into voluntary administration, which is not good news for its future.

Hours after the US parent company of Build-a-Bear Workshop reported a 7.5% drop in revenue and slow growth in international markets, it was announced that the Australian arm has been placed into voluntary administration.

As reported in Smart Company, the move is partially blamed on the collapse of Toys ‘R’ Us and problems caused by Brexit.

Further reasons for the collapse include rising operating costs and a drop in shopping mall foot traffic.

Combat The Challenges

Company CEO Gavin Port said Build-a-Bear Australia was working “diligently” on plans to combat those challenges.

Matt Sweeny and Gideon Rathner of Lowe Lippman have been appointed as administrators of the company.

Build-a-Bear Australia is a franchised entity of the US company which opened its first store in Bondi in 2004.
It has grown to 30 stores and other retail outlets across the country.

Ten Stores Will Close

Ten of the stores will close within the next two weeks. Those outlets include the branches at Logan Hyperdome, Kawana, Mt Ommaney, Werribee, Eastland, Garden City (WA), Carousel, Marion, Green Hills and Miranda.

The other stores will continue to trade normally and staff will still be paid. Apparently, gift cards will also still be honoured.

“[We] are taking this action to restructure [Build-a-Bear’s] retail footprint for a more sustainable long-term future for the Build-a-Bear Workshop brand here in Australia,” Mr Port said.

“We have an incredibly dedicated team, and have an established brand that resonates with consumers of all ages. We want to thank our entire team and our valued customers and suppliers who have been great supporters of the brand over the last 14 years.”

“The company will continue to focus on bringing smiles and a unique experience to our guests.”

The administrators have said that are reviewing the company and looking at a variety of restructuring and other opportunities.

We recommend that you go support a remaining Build-a-Bear if you’d like to see it remain open. And by all means, use up any gift vouchers while you still can.

Will you be sad if Build-A-Bear closes? Tell us in the comments below.

  • That’s such a shame coz my girls loved the workshop when it came to Murray Bridge South Australia for the day. They love the bears and have named them and they talk to them too. So cute. Will there be huge sales on or not?


  • No more pay your age so sad. Feel sorry for all those that are going to lose their jobs


  • I never used them , too expensive for me , but a shame that they are closing.


  • I’ve never seen or heard of these stores. Looks like another business that will disappear


  • I’ve never heard of this store. Never seen one, never been to one so it won’t be missed by me. Sounds like it could’ve been a lot of fun, but also should have been cheaper


  • In all honesty they made things too expensive. I looked into it a couple of times and couldn’t justify it. They did a school holiday special once at Mt Ommaney where they had a special price and it was so good that everyone lined up for an hour or more to get one. If things are more affordable people will buy.


  • We have never been to one.


  • I like the concept but I’ve never seen a store.


  • I’ve never been to one. My son has more than enough teddies so I’ve just never thought to take him.


  • I honestly have never heard of this company

    • They are very pretty inside and it really is lots of fun to look at the range on offer.


  • Yes my kids were very sad when the store in Castle Towers (Castle Hill, Sydney) closed last years.


  • Promotions and looking at prices may assist with sustainability.


  • Liked going to the place but the costs is what keeps so many away.


  • My kids loved Build A Bear. They’ll be sad to see it go :(


  • Such a shame but the stores are always empty when i walk past. They should reduce the cost of the bears/clothes so more people have to opportunity to buy the wonderful bears


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