This Major Toy Store Just Might Be the Last One Left Standing & Here’s Why

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With the news of Toys“R”Us’ closure, it might seem like there aren’t many magical places left where kids can trade in their hard-earned piggy bank money in exchange for that coveted toy—but there’s still one place that’s not only still in business, it’s booming. Build-A-Bear is profiting despite Toys”R”Us closing and here’s why it’s not going anywhere anytime soon.

Earlier this year Build-A-Bear reported a $7.9 million profit for 2017, up more than 17 percent from the previous year. So why is the toy company doing so well while others failing? In a word: stuffing. Build-A-Bear isn’t just selling toys, it’s selling an experience. From picking out a new best friend to cranking the giant stuffing machine (and don’t forget adding that magical heart and scent), a trip to Build-A-Bear isn’t one your kids will soon forget.

Going to Build-A-Bear is so experience-based you can throw a birthday party there. Even their website offers a fun way to order with a virtual stuffing machine, in case you don’t have a store in your local area.

Build-A-Bear also has a multi-generational draw, with bears made for weddings, baby showers and even prom, making it fun for kids and parents alike. “There’s definitely a nostalgia factor, especially for millennial parents,” Reyne Rice, a global toy trend hunter and consultant, told TIME. “They know some of the characters, they know the play pattern, and now they can share that experience with their child.”

Have you been to Build-A-Bear with your kids? Do you feel that it offers something special that other stores don’t? Share your thoughts in the comments.

—Shahrzad Warkentin

Featured photo: Emily McLaughlin via Flickr


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