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Build-A-Bear closes all stores, furloughs 90% of its workforce and cuts executive pay

KSDK-TV St. Louis logo KSDK-TV St. Louis 3/27/2020 Vince Brennan – St. Louis Business Journal
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St. Louis-based toy retailer Build-A-Bear Workshop (NYSE: BBW) has temporarily closed all of its stores and furloughed more than 90% of its workforce as the company battles the deteriorating economic conditions caused by the coronavirus.

In a regulatory filing Thursday, the company said it has temporarily closed its retail locations in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Denmark and Ireland at least through April 2. Officials said they do not know when they could reopen. 

In addition, Build-A-Bear closed a warehouse in Ohio as it “reviews processes related to workplace safety, including social distancing and sanitation practices recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

In the same filing, the company said it is implementing furloughs for more than 90% of its employees, effective March 29. Those employees will not receive compensation, but will continue to get benefits including medical, dental and vision, the filing said.

All remaining employees will have their pay reduced, including Build-A-Bear’s executive officers, which will have their pay cut by 20%.

Build-A-Bear employed 1,000 people full-time and around 3,000 part-time, according to its most recent annual report, filed in April 2019. It has 372 corporate-managed locations, including 316 in North America inclusive of 22 shop-in-shops within select Walmart locations, and 56 outside of North America.

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