Police called as Build-A-Bear offer causes safety fears at Belfast shop
Customers turned up en masse in the Victoria Square complex to take advantage of a ‘pay your age’ deal.
Police were called to a Build-A-Bear store in Belfast to maintain order amid reportedly chaotic scenes as parents and children queued for a cut-price offer.
Staff were forced to close the store in the Victoria Square complex on Thursday due to “safety concerns” as customers turned up en masse to avail themselves of the ‘pay your age’ deal.
The episode unfolded on what is otherwise a very quiet day on the commercial front in Belfast, as many shops close for the Twelfth of July Orange Order commemorations.
The rumors are true! 🎉 July 12 is the first-ever Pay Your Age Day at Build-A-Bear Workshop! For one day only, you can pay your age for ANY, we repeat, ANY furry friend at the Workshop*! Full Details US/CAN: https://t.co/NumcznV7vt UK: https://t.co/hHhpIi9F6s pic.twitter.com/UWXyMDm4x6— Build-A-Bear Workshop (@buildabear) July 9, 2018
But queues stretched long outside the Build-A-Bear store in the morning as adults sought to pay the age of their children in Sterling for stuffed toys that usually retail for much more.
Shortly before lunch the police had to be called amid reports of staff in tears and arguments over queue jumping.
The Police Service of Northern Ireland said they attended at around 12.40pm to “maintain order”.
A spokesman added: “No offences have been detected at this time.”
A spokeswoman for Build-A-Bear said: “The safety of our guests and employees is our top priority. We are aware of the situation in Belfast and, in the interest of the safety of our employees and our guests, this store has been closed.”
Streams of parents and children continued to arrive at the store through the afternoon only to be disappointed upon finding it closed.
A sign on the window apologised for the inconvenience caused.