Build-A-Bear Workshop unveils new, interactive store design

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St. Louis -- Build-A-Bear Workshop has unveiled its new store design, at West County Center in St. Louis. The store is one of six locations that the company will open this year in select U.S. markets. The interactive design merges the retailer’s signature hands-on bear-making experience with innovative technology. It allows customers to personalize the bear-making process and offers them a different experience each time they visit a Build-A-Bear Workshop store.

“Build-A-Bear Workshop invented experiential mall-based retailing 15 years ago and has been the leader in providing interactive experiences for kids of all ages,” said Maxine Clark, founder and CEO of Build-A-Bear Workshop. Since our inception, over 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.”

The new design features an interactive storefront that will change with the seasons, holidays, or other special events. It uses Microsoft’s Kinect technology and interactive touch elements, allowing shoppers  engage and play with the signage at the front of the store. In other new elements, shoppers can customize their furry friends with special personality attributes displayed as emoticons on an interactive table. Using Samsung’s SUR40 with Microsoft PixelSense technology, shoppers can add unique traits -- like cuddly, brave, silly and smart -- to their red satin hearts, which are inserted inside the stuffed animals during the Stuff Me process.

In addition, shoppers  can now add scents to their toys. An assortment of scents is available, ranging from bubble gum to  cotton candy to chocolate chip. The scents that are offered will change by season and holiday. 

Working with Build-A-Bear Workshop on the new store concept were Adrienne Weiss Corp., specializing in brand development and store design; Oei Design, a retail entertainment design firm; architects and construction management firm, Epoch Design Group; and Studio Productions, specializing in themed fixtures. The retailer also aligned with technology companies including Microsoft Corp., Epicor Software, Samsung Electronics America, Infusion, Nanonation, Parametric Sound Corp., and Canvys -- Visual Technology Solution

The company plans to rollout the design to the following locations: 

  • Stoneridge Shopping Center, in Pleasanton, Calif., on Oct. 5;
  • Annapolis Shopping Mall in Annapolis, Md., on Oct. 19;
  • The Somerset Collection in Troy, Mich. ,on Oct. 26;
  • Fair Oaks Mall in Fairfax, Va. on  Nov. 9; and
  • Castleton Square Mall in Indianapolis, Ind., on Nov. 16.

 Click here for photos.