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05/05/2014

Build-A-Bear's Reimagined Pop-Up Store Footprint

2013 was the year of reimagination at Build-A-Bear Workshops across the nation, including reducing store counts, digitizing the store experience and multi-station store remodels. This year, the retailer is streamlining its marketing messaging, opening pop-up stores and investing in supply chain efficiency – the glue behind its reimagination concept.
 
Capital expenditures for 2014 are expected to be $12-15 million to support selected store updates and openings, as well as the ongoing investment in IT infrastructure. With that in mind, the retailer still faces significant challenges in New York. "The New York door is an opportunity for us to look at, although we have to balance that with the new segmentation of our overall fleet," said Tina Klocke, chief operations and financial officer for Build-A-Bear Workshop. "We tend to over perform in tourist areas, and New York City is just that."
 
The retailer also plans to open five to 10 pop-up locations in advance of the 2014 holiday season. "This is a proven approach to drive opportunistic sale and in select markets provide a cost effective method of validating locations without long-term commitments," noted Sharon Price John, president and CEO for the retailer.
 
A significant portion of the re-imagination process for Build-A-Bear is the retailer's ability to reposition its marketing programs to elevate the Build-A-Bear brand and integrate messaging across all consumer touch points, while still increasing value.
 
Lastly, the supply chain initiative has kicked off in an effort to pin-point the best areas for pop-up locations, without double-dipping in the same areas that the retailer already has an established footprint.
 
All-in-all the retailer is continually re-assessing its reimagination plan as it progresses to determine which initiatives and growth models are sustainable in the future to continue to provide results.