Disappointed Build a Bear customers offered vouchers after event sparks huge queues

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Disappointed customers, who were unable to take part in Build a Bear's popular "Pay your Age" event on Thursday, will be given gift vouchers, a company spokesman has said.

Thousands of customers with young children waited in long queues across the country after the event was launched, promising customers the chance to buy a bear for a bargain price.

Long queues of Build-a-Bear fans hoping to grab a bargain were captured by photographer Grahama Royston at Houndshill PIC: Graham Royston

Long queues of Build-a-Bear fans hoping to grab a bargain were captured by photographer Grahama Royston at Houndshill PIC: Graham Royston

Read more stories: Build-a-Bear fans spark huge queues at shopping centre

But many were left empty handed after the event attracted an "unprecedented" number of people to visit the shops.

Bosses at Houndshill said that queues for the Build a Bear event in the centre in Blackpool had been orderly and customers had behaved appropriately while waiting in line.

Although some customers were less than impressed at the thought of joining such a long queue for a bear.

Emma Rachelle War said: "I've told my daughter's who wanted one that we will go at the end of the month and I will happily pay full price.

"I am not getting my girls to stand for hours waiting for a teddy. I saw the queue and I thought nope."

The company is now offering vouchers to Build a Bear Club members who log into their accounts before July 18.

A spokesman for the company said in a statement: "Build-A-Bear Workshop’s Pay Your Age Day event generated an overwhelming response, resulting in long queues, extensive waits and disappointed guests.

"We feel it is important to share that, based on the information available to us before the day began, we could not have predicted this reaction to our Pay Your Age Day event.

"We understand that many guests were turned away as, due to safety concerns created by the crowds, authorities in certain locations closed Build-A-Bear stores and, in other locations, we were forced to limit the queue.

"Unfortunately, given these circumstances, we were unable to serve all of our guests for the Pay Your Age Day event.

"In response, we distributed vouchers to guests, who were present in queues, to be redeemed for a future purchase.

"We are now making vouchers available to our U.K. Build-A-Bear Bonus Club members, who log into their account by midnight on July,18, 2018. Vouchers related to this event will be honoured through August, 31, 2018.

"It is our sincere desire for all of our guests to enjoy the best Build-A-Bear experience possible.

"As such, our goal with the voucher extension is to enable us to better flow traffic to the stores over the next several weeks to avoid long queues and wait times as much as possible.

"Therefore, we strongly encourage guests to consider delaying their trip to Build-A-Bear, and we appreciate everyone’s understanding and patience in this matter.

"Build-A-Bear Workshop takes seriously the privilege of providing our valued guests with an opportunity to make a furry friend.

"It is with that spirit that we created our Pay Your Age Day event and the new, year-long Count Your Candles birthday program, where kids 14 and under can “pay their age” for our new Birthday Treat Bear during their birthday month.

"Thank you for your passion and continued support."