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Build-A-Bear goes 3-D with new e-commerce offering

Build-A-Bear Workshop is launching a digital, interactive e-commerce experience.

Build-A-Bear Workshop is introducing a new shopping experience on its website that includes 3-D animation.

The specialty toy retailer is launching the Bear Builder 3D Workshop. Developed by Build-A-Bear in partnership with interactive shopping simulation provider Buzz 3D, hybrid multicloud computing platform Nutanix, data center and cloud services provider TierPoint, and amusement park experience designer PGAV, Bear Builder 3D Workshop is designed to interactively guide customers through the company’s bear-building experience.

When customers enter the virtual Bear Builder 3D Workshop experience, they are greeted with music and a selection of toys to choose from, with each featured in a row of “Cub Condos.” Once selected, the toy is taken to the stuffing area via the “Rainbow Slide.”

Customers are then prompted to click and drag clouds of stuffing into the toy. After completing the stuffing step, the Bear Builder 3D Workshop offers a virtual version of the brand's “Heart Ceremony,” including making a wish on the toy’s heart to officially bring it to life.

After brushing and fluffing, the toy dances over to the “Wonder Wardrobe” to select from a wide variety of clothing and accessories to create a custom look. The next step is a stop at the “Hear Me Station” to add a sound or song to the toy. To complete the process, customers fill out a birth certificate, including giving a name to their toy. With the activity complete, the finished toy grabs a red heart balloon and floats back to the main e-commerce website where customers can continue shopping or finalize their transaction. 

Customers can have toys built in the virtual workshop shipped to their home. Build-A-Bear also offers local delivery options so products can be picked up at nearby stores with buy online, pickup in store (BOPIS) or curbside options. In addition, Build-A-Bear has partnered with the Shipt on-demand delivery platform to provide same-day delivery in select areas throughout the U.S.

Customers can visit and click on the 3D Workshop icon found in the top navigation on desktop, or in the extended menu on the mobile app and site.

Build-A-Bear has been focusing more on the digital side of its business. The company delivered e-commerce results in its most recent fiscal quarter that were very encouraging when compared to pre-COVID-19 online activity. It also recently hired its first-ever VP of e-commerce, and promoted another executive to a senior digital technology role.

"The retail landscape has been shifting as consumers have increasingly moved to online shopping. Our aim is to meet guests where and how they prefer to shop. Because we are a high-engagement brand, we wanted to develop an interactive, digital shopping option that not only delivered on our iconic in-store process but offered a dynamic experience to create your own furry friend," said Sharon Price John, president and CEO of Build-A-Bear Workshop.  "E-commerce has traditionally been more transactional, but we believe Build-A-Bear is the perfect brand to break the mold by adding more fun and engagement to online shopping as we continue to execute our digital transformation strategy."

Build-A-Bear has nearly 500 interactive brick-and-mortar retail locations. It also offers e-commerce/digital purchasing activities on

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