loader image
Skip to content

Build-A-Bear Workshop Builds Better In-Store Experiences with Modern Tech

Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc. is one of the most recognizable retail brands in the world, with 450 store locations throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe.

Recently, the company announced the successful deployment of its cloud-native, mobile-first Point of Sale (POS) and CX Connect interactive customer engagement solution to enrich end-to-end in-store experiences in its retail stores worldwide.

It is a brand that has made a big impression on several generations. Starting in 1997 with a location in the Saint Louis Galleria Mall, the brand received a $5,000,000 investment for expansion from Walnut Capital Partners within just two years. Most of Gen Z onward (and even some later millennials) remember their excitement walking into a Build-A-Bear Workshop, with all that entailed for their creativity. 

In 2022, the company totaled $467.9 million in revenues at a time when many specialty retailers were shuttering. Today, the company continues to see growth, closing its third quarter in 2023 with a total revenue increase of 2.9% (and that’s coming off a streak of three record years).

In today’s especially competitive environment, ensuring that you reach the modern, less-inherently loyal consumer is as important as it has ever been to survive. Furthermore, no matter how well you’re doing, it is wise to never get too comfortable. 

That’s why Build-A-Bear’s investment in a modern PoS and customer engagement system makes so much sense, both for customers and associates. 

It has long been common wisdom in the retail industry that you don’t want to keep customers waiting. Yet, it has proven a stubbornly difficult problem to address comprehensively. According to a 2023 published study by Waitwhile, “…the time spent waiting in line at retail stores has increased by 30% since 2022,” likely due to a struggle to maintain staffing ratios while retail activity has continued to remain elevated post-lockdowns. 

In fact, it has been a reliably growing self-reported pain point for customers since at least 2015. In other words, investing in solutions to help address this pain area is a wise choice going forward in 2024, and one Build-A-Bear recognized. 

Moreover, consistent levels of consumer engagement have also suffered under constrained staffing ratios in recent years. This creates a twofold problem: not only does the customer experience fail to engage, but store associates are also likely overworked and receiving a greater share of customer frustration and angst. 

According to a Forbes analysis, to address this ongoing issue, you need to take care of your employees, be proactive, leverage the right tech solutions, and create more supportive in-store spaces to accommodate the interactions they need to be having with your customers…all great reasons to invest in modern in-store retail technology.

When looking for partners, Build-A-Bear needed someone with a fresh perspective and the latest solutions. They eventually found Jumpmind—a relatively new player to the field that has quickly proven itself with large clients—and were engaged by their Jumpmind CX Connect and Jumpmind Commerce solutions. 

“Our commitment to providing our associates with the most advanced in-store retail technology ensures they are not only given a 360-degree view of our guests, their previous interactions and preferences, but also can offer a shared interactive and personalized journey to enrich each guest’s visit,” said Dara Meath, Chief Technology Officer at Build-A-Bear, in a recent statement.

Meath goes on to emphasize that the partnership is aimed at creating more ‘unique and memorable’ connections with the brand. Though all brands should seek these connections, it is perhaps especially important for a brand like Build-A-Bear to aim directly for powerful, uniquely personalized experiences for each guest. 

That ethos has been part of its success for over a quarter-century and will no doubt continue to serve the company well, particularly now that they have the right tools at hand to foster the best in-store experience associates can provide.

Notes Joe Corbin, President and CEO of Jumpmind, Build-A-Bear is an example of a ‘progressive retailer’ that is “leveraging their store environments for competitive differentiation and bringing the best of digital retailing together with brick & mortar.”

Continues Corbin, “Bear Builders are now empowered to deliver seamless and valued-added experiences that are as unique and special as the Build-A-Bear brand, from the moment guests walk into the store until the time they walk out with their new furry friend and a smile.”


Written by Alex Lindstrom

For more information visit Jumpmind.com