"Build your own" stuffed animal store coming to Buckhead.
St. Louis, Missouri-based Build-A-Bear Workshop will soon open a new location at Phipps Plaza.
The new Build-A-Bear will occupy the former Sisley/United Colors of Benetton space on the second level of the mall, opposite girls' clothing store Justice. The roughly 3,000 square foot space was once rumored to be an OshKosh B'gosh store but that never happened. For the past year or so, the space was home to "Ritzy Twins New York" which closed quietly a few weeks ago.
According to the Build-A-Bear website, the Phipps Plaza store will open September 5th. This date seems rather soon considering there are no building permits on file with the city of Atlanta for their space.
When it opens, Build-A-Bear's Phipps Plaza location will mark the chain's eighth store in Georgia and its first ITP. The next closest stores are at Town Center at Cobb in Kennesaw and North Point Mall in Alpharetta.
Build-A-Bear Workshop was started by Coral Gables, Florida-native and UGA (1971) grad, Maxine Clark.
I recall seeing massive lines at Build-A-Bear stores at Mall of Georgia and Town Center at Cobb in the early 2000's, the peak of the store's popularity. The lines they attracted were reminiscent of Beanie Baby launches years earlier, or Apple product launches these days.
While Build-A-Bear is definitely not the attraction it once was, licensing and co-branding, as well as expanding product lines, has enabled the company to stay fresh.
BBW, as its traded on the NYSE, has bounced back from a low of about four bucks in 2012 to a high of over $15 earlier this year. The stock currently trades at about $11, up nearly 50% YTD.
Surely many young girls, and their parents, who might otherwise have trekked to an OTP mall to customize a bear of their choosing, will welcome this opening. For the most part, Legos tend to be more popular with boys while stuffed animals tend to be more popular with girls.
The synergy that Legoland Discovery Center and nearby Justice will offer is great for families but further erodes the "luxury" branding from the previously posh mall.
Did you "Build-A-Bear" when you were younger? If so, do you still have it? Are you a fan of the changes being made at Phipps Plaza or is it becoming to "child focused?"
Please share your thoughts below.