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Build-A-Bear Lays Off 27 at HQ

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Build-A-Bear Workshop eliminated 27 jobs at its St. Louis headquarters on Thursday.

The cuts were made across departments and represent 8% of the company’s local work force and about 1% of the retailer’s total headcount.

“This is one of several initiatives taken to align our costs with our revenue expectations,” said spokeswoman Jill Saunders.

Other initiatives include the previously announced closing of the company’s Friends 2B Made concept, a slowdown in store expansion from 25 new stores in 2008 to just one this year, the reduction and postponement of capital-spending projects including IT systems enhancements, reductions in outside services, and efforts to improve store lease terms and optimize store locations, she said.

“We will continue to look at ways to challenge the organization to work as efficiently as we possibly can,” Saunders said. She added that Build-A-Bear remains financially strong and profitable with no debt.

Build-A-Bear has not yet reported results for December, but the company headed into the holiday season with same-store sales on the decline.

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