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Build-A-Bear Workshop Inc. Message Board

  • jacosa jacosa Aug 8, 2007 10:51 AM Flag

    Fixin' it

    Regulars have seen my rants about the main (difficult) problem with the BBW business: narrowing demographic. The basic concept appeals to all kids, but the execution narrows it to about a 4-year slice of little girls' lives.

    I have a suggestion from a former store "boss" (most senior employee in the store, supervisor of the others on her shift).

    Boys and girls tolerate each other at that age as long as they don't have to interact. Her store was large-ish; when there were a lot of both sexes in there the boys essentially carved out a "pen" of their own (importantly, small compared to the size of the store). There ought to be a way to design for this.

    My own idea is more derived from Gymboree: BBW seems to be good at finding and training employees who are good with kids (I don't know how hard that is; I think it's hard). Would it be possible for them to half-franchise that? In other words, if you want to operate a kids-oriented craft business they'll take money to share their personnel expertise; in return, you get to mention their name and get the occasional visit from one of their truck-mounted stores.

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    • When this thing hit the high 16's i fucking freaked out. fucking bullshit i hit the desk and screamed bullshit when i saw that!!!! you think the value of the company is changing 5% by the day or its just daytrading going on???

    • Interesting ideas. I'm not so sure Webkinz will be easy to overtake because it's kind of a race between matter and thought, but still, BBW claims to have lots of good marketers, and that ought to be a start toward a good web presence. And we know that they're on the project.

      Exploding the experience and putting it back better might be rewarding. Right now, it's terribly linear. Maybe there's a way to introduce side loops, even totally separate paths (like maybe a choice of bean vs puffy stuffing?), into it (that might go along with having a "boy pen" in the store, too). At birthday parties, the kids seem happy, but on some level they have to be aware of the amount of standing-in-line that they're doing.

    • " build-a-bear can always change there store to an all girl setting but they are trying something new to appeal to another demographic in order to increase sales, they can always change back. You got to start doing new things to increase sales and they have, build-a-bear bears are now included in Mcdonalds happy meals."

      The problem is that they never studied a plan to move stores to an all-girl format, it just happened as a result of other things. And it's costing a lot of business. And the other things that caused it are very desirable, except for this side effect. I'm not sure that putting bears in Happy Meals has much effect beyond basic brand awareness, and that isn't BBW's big problem.

      I sure hope Ms Clark is holding everyone's feet to the fire on this demographics issue. And viewed broadly, there's no reason to stop with 'kid' demographics. I've gotten myself three plush animals in the lsat 20 years (only 1 paid for, the other 2 as prizes, but I wanted those prizes).

      The drop from 30-ish to 20-ish on bad comps is quite reasonable treatment for a retailer. The further drop on having the hope of a take-out dampened isn't necessarily logical, but it's understandable.

    • I mean cmon, this stocks almost been cut in half in price! Is the news and earnings that bad?

    • Its all temporary, just as the surprising $0.15 EPS was temporary.

    • Don't even bring up this nonsense. Hopefully your aware that most of your statements seem to be your opinions just as mine are. I know build-a-bear workshop stores that have been established for some time, build-a-bear can always change there store to an all girl setting but they are trying something new to appeal to another demographic in order to increase sales, they can always change back. You got to start doing new things to increase sales and they have, build-a-bear bears are now included in Mcdonalds happy meals.

      Kids grow up, the ones you say that get tired of bears already are to old to get a bear and a new set of kids that haven't hugged a bear in their life go in to a build-a-bear workshop for the first time.

      The kids don't buy the bears, the parents do. As said before, some build-a-bear workshops have been established for quite some time so the fad argument doesn't work here.


      The decrease in sales?? Not really

      In Q2 06 build-a-bear had a great quarter reporting $0.15 EPS while analyst estimated EPS of $0.07.

      In Q2 07 build-a-bear had a great quarter reporting $0.7 EPS while analyst estimated EPS of $0.08.

      Now misguided people will look at the headlines and see

      "
      BuildaBear 2Q Net $1.59M Vs Net $3.00M, -47% >BBW
      Thursday 07/26/2007 7:31 AM ET - Dow Jones News

      (MORE TO FOLLOW) Dow Jones Newswires 07-26-07 0730ET
      Copyright (c) 2007 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
      "

      Its just that q2 06 was a very good quarter and this quarter is business as usual.

      Shrek 3 bombed, so less shrek items sold, other retailers catering to kids reporting weaker sales. There are explanations for this slight 1 cent EPS difference.

    • what kind of logic ur using? Mcdonalds should stop selling happy meals because it is targetted to a small demographic even though a shitload of profit comes from the sale of happy meals?

      THIS DECLINE IS BULLSHIT!!!!!! I CANT FUCKING BELIEVE THIS STOCK WENT DOWN THIS LOW!!!!!!!!1111

      • 1 Reply to hacker4491
      • ??? McDonalds appeals to a very very broad demographic (and happy meals cement a part of that breadth). You can even see an adjustment in a lot of their outlets to mitigate the kind of problem BBW is having: some adults don't like to eat, even fast food, in a place where kids are being kids (sorta parallel to boys not beeing keen on building teddy bears or ogres in places where girls build and dress dolls)--so McDonalds has play areas attached to a lot of stores where the noisier kids can happily get out of the way.

        If I was a private equity buyer, I'd be looking to migrating Build-a-Bear younger and more oriented to the plush animals themselves, and moving older girls to separate (maybe just a partition away) Friends-2-B-Made where the orientation is more on dressing the animals. But maybe there's a better way. I'm not sure you need a separate Build-A-Dino in malls once you move the doll clothes next door. Ridemakerz might give you the visible boy/girl symmetry you'd like, but I don't know what one looks like.

 
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