- Build-A-Bear was forced to end "Pay Your Age Day" early on Thursday, after stores were overwhelmed with customers.
- "Per local authorities, we cannot accept additional Guests at our locations due to crowds and safety concerns," Build-A-Bear posted on Facebook at 11 a.m. ET.
- Photos from Build-A-Bear stores show long lines stretching throughout malls and scenes that some shoppers described as "madness."
Build-A-Bear was forced to shut down a deal that allowed customers to "pay their age" for bears after chaos overtook malls across the United States.
On Thursday, Build-A-Bear was set to celebrate "Pay Your Age Day" in the US, Canada, and the UK. Customers had the chance to purchase a stuffed animal and pay only their age for the day. Kids were able to pay just a few dollars for stuffed bears, while adults' fees were capped at $29. The bears usually fall in the $20-$35 range.
However, the event had to be cut short after stores descended into "madness."
"Per local authorities, we cannot accept additional Guests at our locations due to crowds and safety concerns," Build-A-Bear posted on Facebook at 11 a.m. ET. "We have closed lines in our U.S. and Canada stores. We understand some Guests are disappointed and we will reach out directly as soon as possible."
Photos from Build-A-Bears show chaotic scenes and long lines.
"Waiting in this madness!" reads the caption of a photo that shows a line stretching far outside a Build-A-Bear.
"Brought my lil one to the @buildabear pay your age event. Lines are super long. Was told it's a 5 hour wait!!!" reads another caption. "Guess we're not getting one."
Many customers were infuriated by the chaotic event.
"This clearly was NOT thought out," reads one Facebook comment. "You would have been far better off sending out a coupon to all BAB members for a one time pay your age bear per family member to be used in the month of July."
"Definitely think you should hold a second day for all of the disappointed parents and kids or send a pay your age coupon to the bonus club members who didn't get to participate," reads another.
Build-A-Bear did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment.