OAKLAND, Calif. (KTVU) - Lines have already closed for the day at some Build-A-Bear Workshop's 'Pay Your Age Day,' before West Coast stores even opened.
The promotion allowed customers to pay their current age for any "furry friend" available in the store. For example, that means if a parent brought their 1-year-old child, they would pay just $1 for a stuffed animal.
Our KTVU crew was at Westfield Valley Fair in San Jose Thursday morning where lines of hundreds of people snaked around the outside of the building in front of California Pizza Kitchen.
A woman who works at that Build-A-Bear location says she hoped they would have enough bears for everyone in line. She said they have not sold out like the Midwest stores. When we were there, she said first choice animals may not be available but they did have plenty of bears in stock.
"We didn't anticipate it to be as big as it is but we'll be fine... wish us luck," she said as she ran back to the store.
The store said they planned to keep offering the deal as long as supplies last. As of 10:40 a.m. the store was at capacity and was no longer accepting additional people in line.
Adults who wanted to take advantage of the deal didn't need to worry about an "advanced" age. They were told $29 would be the maximum price they would need to pay.
However, Build-A-Bear posted on its Facebook page Monday morning, "Urgent Alert: Lines Closed for Pay Your Age Day Event. Per local authorities, we cannot accept additional Guests at our locations due to crowds and safety concerns. 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."
Customers took to the Build-A-Bear Workshop Facebook page to leave their thoughts on the development. Many were upset they were forced to cancel plans. "I'm gonna be driving 45-50 mins just to get to a store. Please let us know asap on how this is being handled. I don't wanna waste my time or gas just to be turned around," wrote Krystal Wilson.
Others defended Build-A-Bear Workshop saying customers should have expected this.
At this point, it's unclear how Build-A-Bear will be addressing the situation with customers who are turned away.