Build-A-Bear transitioning into a place for family fun, company CEO says

Sharon Price John says the company is transforming the emotional connection between child and furry friend into entertainment

American iconic retailer Build-A-Bear Workshop is transitioning into a place where families go for fun and entertainment, according to its CEO Sharon Price John.

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The "robust strategy" to diversify is allowing the company to transform the emotional connection between a child and furry friend into entertainment, John told Stuart Varney on Monday.

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John also clarified comments about expected store closures.

“We didn’t necessarily say we are closing certainly up to 30 stores, and we actually had the same number that we had in the quarter – we closed the same number that we opened,” she said.

Build-A-Bear Workshop celebrated the launch of its new store format today at a grand opening ceremony at the Mall of America. (Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images for Build-A-Bear)

When Varney asked whether the company would be around this time next year, John responded by saying it has special investment value.

“Build-A-Bear, unlike a lot of other retailers in the sector that we trade, has a strong balance sheet and no debt and a clear strategy with a brand that has transferable value into different areas,” she said.

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Stocks in this Article

BBWBUILD A BEAR WORKSHOP INC
$4.89
+0.32 (+7.00%)
DISWALT DISNEY COMPANY
$144.33
-0.79 (-0.54%)
WMTWALMART INC.
$114.96
-0.94 (-0.81%)
SNESONY
$72.48
-0.14 (-0.19%)

In 2020, the company will look to further foster the relationships it has created with companies like Disney and Sony, which are important for licensing products and developing intellectual property, respectively, according to John. She also noted the rebuilding of the company’s infrastructure, naming e-commerce specifically.

Build-A-Bear has seen double-digit growth in e-commerce sales over the past eight quarters and expects to continue that trend into a ninth, John said. The company is also diversifying into new revenue locations, like Walmart, she added.

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*This article, published on 12/9/19, was edited on 12/10/19 to reflect the quarterly growth of e-commerce sales.