Build-a-Bear plans new store layouts

Build-a-Bear plans new store layoutsBuild-a-Bear Workshops are about to get a whole new look and layout. The changes will put more focus on the most liked features in the stores. The idea is from the CEO of the company Sharon Price John, the Saint Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

One of the focal points in the current Build-a-Bear stores are the stuffing machines. They can stuff the teddy bears and other stuffies with an exact amount of fluff to give the toys the level of softness the customer wants.

Currently these machines are at the back of the stores. It turns out they are one of the most popular features in the Build-a-Bear Workshops. Kids love to see their stuffies take shape and come to life. So the new store layout will have the machines moved to the front and will have a new look to attract customers.

“Mall traffic has been flat to down, and you really have to work every footstep that goes in there. Pulling that way up front in the stores should provide some in-store theater for us”, John tells the Post-Dispatch.

The changes are part of the CEO strategy to turn the company around and bring in even more profits. This new strategy will also have some stores move or get closed depeinding on their performance. New stores on the other hand will be a bit smaller than the current.

John’s efforts are already paying off. Build-a-Bear posted overall profits for 2014 in the amount of 14.4 million dollars.

The company has around 400 stores. Most of them are in the USA, but there are plans to continue with international expansion. Also there will be temporary stores that open at various places when a bigger holiday with more demand is coming up.

The new look for Build-a-Bear stores is planned for the second half of 2015. There will be lots of tiny changes and a few bigger ones like an updated logo for example. Some of the toys Build-a-Bear offers will also show up at other stores to increase the reach and exposure. There will even be more licendes products like a line of Incredible Hulk teddy bears or one themed after the Avengers.