And becomes the only children's entertainment retailer with a virtual world experience
ST. LOUIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 10, 2008--Build-A-Bear Workshop(R) Guests are bringing their furry best friends to life in buildabearville.com(TM). The new virtual world, which launched on December 11, is on track to reach one million unique monthly visitors by the end of January.
"We are thrilled that so many Guests have visited buildabearville.com," said Maxine Clark, founder and chief executive bear of Build-A-Bear Workshop. "Our virtual world experience extends the emotional bond that is created when a Guest makes a new furry friend. Guests are able to bring their new friend to life online and continue to play and grow the friendship that begins in our store."
In addition to bringing their furry friend to life, visitors to buildabearville.com are able to create a truly unique character. By participating in games and quests, Guests can earn Bear Bills, the buildabearville.com currency, which can be used to purchase more clothes, furniture for their Cub Condo(R) homes, and other items. They can also trade possessions that they have created or purchased with other citizens in the world. Beginning in February, members of the Stuff Fur Stuff(R) club can earn Bear Bills in the virtual world for purchases made at Build-A-Bear Workshop stores. Membership to the site is free and does not expire.
"During the upcoming months we will be adding new features, planning community events to support causes encouraged by our Guests and cele-bear-ating holidays in our virtual world," said Melanie McClure, interactive community event bear for buildabearville.com.
On Jan. 19, 20 and 21, current and past Build-A-Bear Workshop Huggable Heroes(R) will make special appearances in buildabearville.com. Throughout the weekend, they will interact with other characters and share stories about the positive contributions they've made in their communities. Now in its fifth year, the Huggable Heroes program encourages and empowers kids to be young leaders and change the world. Past Huggable Heroes have created programs that have made a difference in many ways, such as sending packages to soldiers overseas, raising funds for medical research and helping children in underdeveloped countries.
Buildabearville.com will feature events and activities that teach children about the importance of improving their communities. For example, during March, Guests in buildabearville.com will receive tips on ways they can be good citizens, like donating a portion of allowance money to a local charity. In April, games and other activities will stress the importance of taking care of the environment, culminating with an Earth Day cele-bear-ation in buildabearville.com.
"The new virtual world was carefully created so that it reflects the core values of Build-A-Bear Workshop," added Clark. "It allows children to have fun as they grow their friendships and learn about being an active participant in the community."
The company has several measures in place to help protect the privacy and safety of Guests visiting buildabearville.com.
"We have worked with parents and industry experts to develop a system where parents are in control of the chat options for their children and the site is monitored for safe socialization," noted Clark. "We recognize that online safety is an important issue for all parents and we have put tools in place to help ensure a safe environment for children to play with their furry friends and human friends alike."
For more information or to find out how to join the new virtual world, please visit www.buildabearville.com or the company's Web site at www.buildabear.com.
About Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc.
Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc. is the only global company that offers an interactive make-your-own stuffed animal retail-entertainment experience. Founded in St. Louis in 1997, the company currently operates more than 300 stores in the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland and France. The addition of franchise stores in Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia make Build-A-Bear Workshop the leader in interactive retail. In November 2004, the company expanded the make-your-own concept from stuffed animals to dolls with the opening of its first friends 2B made(R) stores, where Guests can make their own doll friends. In April 2006, Build-A-Bear Workshop acquired The Bear Factory Limited and Amsbra, Ltd. adding company-owned stores in the United Kingdom and Ireland. In December 2007, the company launched its new virtual world at www.buildabearville.com. Build-A-Bear Workshop (NYSE: BBW) posted total revenue of $437 million in fiscal 2006. For more information, call 888.560.BEAR (2327) or visit the company's award-winning Web sites at www.buildabear.com and www.friends2bmade.com.
We would like to thank you for your interest in covering our business. As you write your story, we would ask that you use our full Name: Build-A-Bear Workshop(R) and that when referencing the process of making stuffed animals you use the word "make" not "build."
Build-A-Bear Workshop is our well-known trade name and our registered trademark of Build-A-Bear Retail Management, Inc. Build-A-Bear Workshop(R) should only be used in capital letters to refer to our products and services and should not be used as a verb.
SOURCE: Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc.