Build-A-Bear and Walmart team up, fending off retail apocalypse

Build-A-Bear has survived the declining foot traffic at shopping malls across the country as retail store closures in 2019 already surpass last year's total.

“We looked at the strategy some years ago when we started to see the foot traffic in malls fall off a little bit on how to diversify our locations and make sure that we are also diversifying our consumer base, pushing into e-commerce a little bit differently,” Build-A-Bear Workshop CEO Sharon Price told FOX Business’ Stuart Varney on Monday.

By diversifying its retail areas, Build-A-Bear was able to look into alternative places and expand its accessibility to different types of consumers. Build-A-Bear had partnered with retail giant Walmart in opening shop-in-shops inside six pilot stores last holiday season. Now, it’s looking to expand into 25 additional Walmart stores over the course of this year.

“Walmart was a wonderful opportunity for us to reach a new consumer base,” Price said on “Varney & Co.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
BBW BUILD A BEAR WORKSHOP INC 28.39 +0.23 +0.82%
WMT WALMART INC. 162.35 +0.43 +0.27%

Price said the Build-A-Bear experience is an example of what could be part of the solution to the decline of brick-and-mortar stores as a result of rising e-commerce options such as Amazon which is making it that much more difficult for traditional retailers.

“Our brand creates a memory for a child or someone that’s a child a heart and that memory creates equity for us and that equity is very expandable in many ways beyond retail,” she said.


Build-A-Bear Workshop reported stronger earnings on Friday with profits doubling. The stock rose adding onto the 27 percent gain for 2019.