Build-A-Bear Australia enters voluntary administration – and Brexit’s reportedly to blame!

Build-A-Bear has announced it’s closing the Australian arm of the company and is going into voluntary administration.
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Build-A-Bear, a toy store which allowed children to build their own teddy bears and customise them with accessories, has announced it is going into voluntary administration.

10 of the 30 stores in Australia will close within the next fortnight.

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Build-A-Bear enters voluntary administration

The popular toy store, a firm favourite among children to host their birthday parties, revealed that it was time to shut up shop due to higher operating costs and rents.

Build-A-Bear has its head office in the US and as many as 30 stores across Australia.

The global company reported the reason for the closure was due to a 7.5% drop in revenue with many blaming Brexit as the reason for this drop.

“In North America, our largest overall market, we had a low single-digit sales decline and modest profit on an adjusted basis,” brand president and chief executive officer Sharon Price John told Inside Retail.

“However, the waning consumer confidence related to Brexit and new privacy laws that inhibited consumer communication in our largest international market, the United Kingdom, resulted in disappointing financial results.”

10 of the 30 Build-a-Bear stores in Australia will be closed within the next two weeks, while the remaining stores will continue to trade as normal.

Stores closing:

Logan Hyperdome, Kawana and Mt Ommaney in Queensland

Werribee and Eastland in Victoria

Garden City and Carousel in Western Australia

Marion in South Australia

Green Hills and Miranda in New South Wales

“[We] are taking this action to restructure [Build-a-Bear’s] retail footprint for a more sustainable long-term future for the Build-a-Bear Workshop brand here in Australia,” chief executive Gavin Port said.

“We have an incredibly dedicated team, and have an established brand that resonates with consumers of all ages. We want to thank our entire team and our valued customers and suppliers who have been great supporters of the brand over the last 14 years.

“The company will continue to focus on bringing smiles and a unique experience to our guests.”

This news comes not long after Toys ‘R’ Us revealed it was also shutting its doors due to the drop in product sales.

There has also been recent talk that Big W would be closing stores.

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