Build-A-Bear Debuts New Store Concept

Build-A-Bear has revealed the new store concept with an enhanced hands-on bear-making process and interactive features. The first store in this format was opened at West County Center in St. Louis.
"Build-A-Bear Workshop invented experiential mall-based retailing 15 years ago and has been the leader in providing interactive experienced for kids of all ages," said Maxine Clark, chief executive bear for Build-A-Bear. "Since our inception, more than 100 million stuffed animals have been made in our stores. With this new store design, we have combined the love of a teddy bear with the best of digital technology. We look forward to continuing our leadership in the interactive retail space."
Customers visiting the new store will notice changes including an interactive storefront, interactive touch elements using Microsoft's Kinect technology, the Choose Me station where customers are introduced to all the furry characters, the stuffed animals at a lower height for customers to form a bond, and a larger selection of stuffed animals to choose from, including teddy bears, bunnies, dogs, kittens, and more. Other enhancements include:
·         The Love Me station uses Samsung's SUR40 with Microsoft PixelSense technology to add traits such as brave, silly and smart, during the Stuff Me process.
·         The Hear Me station is an interactive touch screen supplied by Canvys, which features sounds that can be inserted into the stuffed animals for further customization and personalization.
·         At the Stuff Me station, customers can add SCENTiments to make their furry friend smell yummy.
·         The Fluff Me station offers a "water rippling and splashing" digital bath tub that is enabled by Samsung's SUR40 with Microsoft PixelSense technology. The tub magically recognizes the items as they are placed on it and reacts with sensory effects such as virtual bubbles that appear when play soap is placed on the "water surface."
·         At the Name Me station, customers can use a viewfinder or "bear-o-scope" to reveal the special attributes and personality that have been added to the animal throughout the process as well as create a personalized birth certificate that includes a photo of their new furry friend.
·         The remodeled Take Me Home station resembles the Build-A-Bear Workshop Cub Condo. Customers receive their customized birth certificate that is themed to their stuffed animal selection and a special Stuff Fur Stuff club rewards program membership.
"It takes a village to raise a bear and our newly imagined store concept was created with many partners who have helped turn our vision for Build-A-Bear Workshop into a reality," said Clark. "We worked with companies and individuals who are leaders in their industries, many with which we have had long term relationships. There were many supporting partners that have contributed to a highly innovative brand experience."
Working with Build-A-Bear Workshop on the new store concept were technology companies including Microsoft Corporation, Samsung Electronics America, Infusion, Nanonation, Epicor Software, Parametric Sound Corporation, and Canvys Visual Technology Solutions.
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