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.

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“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.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
BBWBUILD A BEAR WORKSHOP INC2.69-0.09-3.24%
WMTWALMART INC.120.29+0.53+0.44%

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.

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