BUILD-A-BEAR WORKSHOP LAUNCHES NEW E-COMMERCE SITE AND ENHANCES OMNI-CHANNEL CAPABILITIES

Published: Sep. 22, 2022 at 11:44 AM EDT

Company's continued investment in digital technology is fueling growth and enhancing brand engagement, giving consumers more ways than ever to experience Build-A-Bear

ST. LOUIS, Sept. 22, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc. (NYSE: BBW), announces a new website design with improvements allowing the company, best known for its interactive and iconic bear building experience in stores, to provide an updated digital space for guests to engage with the brand. The company's recent investment in its digital transformation includes a refreshed mobile first website and marketing technology solutions that give consumers better access to making their own furry friends.

Build-A-Bear(R) is a global brand kids love and parents trust that seeks to add a little more...
Build-A-Bear(R) is a global brand kids love and parents trust that seeks to add a little more heart to life. (PRNewsfoto/Build-A-Bear Workshop)(PRNewswire)

Sharon Price John, Build-A-Bear Workshop President and Chief Executive Officer commented, "While we celebrate the first 25 years of success at Build-A-Bear with our silver anniversary in 2022, we remain focused on the future and our continued expansion. At the center of these plans are two of our strategic pillars designed to deliver sustained profitable growth: accelerating a comprehensive digital transformation and continuing to evolve our retail experience including expanding our omni-channel capabilities. With a multi-year cadenced digital transformation, we can provide our guests multiple options to connect with our brand on a personal level, in store and in the digital space. With record-setting 2022 first half results, on top of the most profitable year in our history in 2021, we believe we are on the right track to achieve our goals."

The company has continued to aggressively expand its e-commerce business compared to pre-pandemic levels in 2019 and in recent months has been making improvements to the site experience and infrastructure while launching new features to make online bear-building easier and more engaging.

Jenn Kretchmar, Build-A-Bear Workshop Chief Digital and Merchandising Officer commented, "Our company has grown its digital demand by 180%, for the first half of 2022 compared to the same period in 2019, resulting in the strategic need for us to continue to build our digital future and respond to our expanding omnichannel business. A key to our success has been creating engaging online experiences while building core omni-channel digital capabilities with expanded technologies and a new customer loyalty platform."

Build-A-Bear's website redesign on Salesforce Commerce Cloud, launching this week, features a new user experience, improved functionality and martech solutions to provide a frictionless experience for guests. With the support of Deloitte Digital, these upgrades include an elevated design that allows for better storytelling, showcasing product, sharing events and promotions, and easier access to information from all devices with its mobile first design. Guests will experience a faster and more seamless checkout and payment process, and will experience a new ease of navigating to Build-A-Bear's growth brand sites such as The Bear Cave, HeartBox and the Bear Builder 3D WorkshopTM.

"Working with Deloitte Digital, we have been able to reimagine our online experience on Build-A-Bear's website. We want our guests to get the same wow factor they do when they walk into a retail store as when they engage with the brand online," added Kretchmar. "Our website plays a critical role in the guest experience, from pre-shopping before visiting a Workshop location, to building and personalizing a furry friend online for home delivery.  With the site's enhancements, we will soon be able to show product availability specific to store locations, making same day delivery or in-store pick up gift-giving options even more seamless."

This investment in the martech space is also part of the Company's strategic move to expand its digital capabilities and guest personalization efforts. Build-A-Bear's investment in technology solutions allows for streamlining the guest journey to ensure the Build-A-Bear experience remains seamless and fun delivering on the brand's reputation for interactivity and creativity.

Leveraging tools such as ABTasty, Cartful, Pimberly, Contentsquare and Google Analytics 4 360, will help Build-A-Bear provide seamless experiences across channels—whether guests are engaging with Build-A-Bear through its iconic in-store experience, interacting with the brand on social media, or creating a custom furry friend online.

"We love having guests in our retail stores, and we want to ensure when a guest leaves the store they continue to have a path of engagement and increased loyalty with our brand, so having the tools to capture first party data enables us to reengage and stay connected, offer personalization for shopping and gifting occasions and create a lasting friendship with our guests," said Kretchmar.

Build-A-Bear has been using Commerce Cloud as its platform since 2017, and recently launched the Salesforce Loyalty Cloud. The loyalty module provides tools that leverage information regarding purchases from the millions of members in the robust and growing Bonus Club to grow customer lifetime value with the delivery of enhanced benefits and perks to guests.

"Salesforce has been an excellent partner for us, and we are excited to be chosen as their marquee customer at their Dreamforce conference happening this week in San Francisco," said Kretchmar. "This is one of the largest global tech events of the year indicating the scale of what we've achieved in this space."

The company's CEO, Sharon Price John, spoke at the "Digital Transformation for an Evolving Future" event for Commerce Cloud at Dreamforce, and Build-A-Bear was also featured during the Marketing Cloud Keynote. Tune in to Dreamforce on Salesforce+.

To further bring the iconic bear-building experience to guests in the digital space, the company's new website revamp features an improved Bear Builder 3D Workshop.  This unique, animated digital shopping experience brings furry friends "to life" online in a process that is inspired by the retail store but also offers interaction that can only occur digitally.  With a reimagined online retail experience, the Bear Builder 3D Workshop is designed to guide guests through the iconic bear-building experience from the stuffing process to the magical heart ceremony to create a furry friend online.  Guest also have the option to select from a wide variety of clothing and accessories to create a unique and fashionable look and add a sound to their furry friend. They also have the option to select Buy Online, Pickup In Store and have their purchase ready when they arrive at a local Workshop.

"We believe Build-A-Bear is the perfect brand to break the mold and more closely integrate our digital and physical experiences by adding more fun and engagement to online shopping as we continue to execute our digital transformation," said Price John. "Providing a variety of ways for our consumers to interface with our brand, while creating connections between those touchpoints designed to enhance value, is an important part of our overall strategy.  Now, in addition to our iconic retailtainment locations, guests engage with us through our social channels, our loyalty club, their own journey through our updated website, and with our content and award-winning films, so our goal is to ensure these digital enhancements provide a comprehensive and appealing brand experience."

Build-A-Bear has also received notable recognition over the past two years for its efforts online being named on the list of America's Fastest Growing Online Shops 2022 and America's Best Trending Online Shops 2021, both awarded by Newsweek and Statista.

ABOUT BUILD-A-BEAR®

Build-A-Bear is a multi-generational global brand focused on its mission to "add a little more heart to life" appealing to a wide array of consumer groups who enjoy the personal expression in making their own "furry friends" to celebrate and commemorate life moments. Nearly 500 interactive brick-and-mortar retail locations operated through a variety of formats provide guests of all ages a hands-on entertaining experience, which often fosters a lasting and emotional brand connection. The company also offers engaging e-commerce/digital purchasing experiences on buildabear.com including its online "Bear-Builder", the animated "Bear Builder 3D Workshop" and its age-gated adult-focused "Bear Cave". In addition, extending its brand power beyond retail, Build-A-Bear Entertainment, a subsidiary of Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc., is dedicated to creating engaging content for kids and adults that fulfills the company's mission, while the company also offers products at wholesale and in non-plush consumer categories via licensing agreements with leading manufacturers. Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc. posted total revenue of $411.5 million in fiscal 2021. For more information, visit the Investor Relations section of buildabear.com

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SOURCE Build-A-Bear Workshop

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