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Build-a-Bear closes lines due to crowds, safety concerns

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Build-a-Bear Workshop's "Pay Your Age" promotion Thursday was a big success - possibly too big.

The company late Thursday morning said it was closing lines at all of its US stores, including Rhode Island and Massachusetts, due to crowds and safety concerns.

"Per local authorities, we cannot accept additional guests at our Build-A-Bear Workshop locations," the company said in an email alert to its customers. "We understand some of our guests are disappointed and will reach out directly as soon as possible,"

In Rhode Island, hundreds of people turned out at Providence Place to get their hands on one of the discounted stuffed animals - which can cost $25 to $30.

On its Facebook page, Providence Place said it was experiencing "unprecedented response" to the promotion and "significantly longer than expected lines and crowds."

Video on social media showed a line snaking through the mall and out the door.

"Local authorities are requiring us to limit the lines and crowds due to safety concerns. We understand this is disappointing, we are working to address the situation, and we will reach out to our valued Guests soon," the mall said.

Eyewitness News checked with Emerald Square Mall out the turnout there. We're told there was a line as well, but that it was organized and orderly.

The images of sprawling lines came in from across the country.



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