Build-A-Bear expands into Germany via franchising
Build-A-Bear Workshop Inc., a company originally founded in the United States and which makes cuddly toys according to their customers’ wishes, has signed a franchise agreement with Choose Germany A/S.
The company has announced that Choose Germany A/S is a subsidiary of Choose Holding A/S, a Danish company which also owns the franchise rights to Build-A-Bear Workshop in Denmark, Sweden and Norway. According to company information, the Group currently has five businesses in Denmark and one in Sweden. The first Norwegian shop is due to start business at the end of October.
“We can hardly wait to introduce our brand into Germany,” said Maxine Clark, chairman and chief executive of Build-A-Bear. “Germany is a large and exciting market for Build-A-Bear Workshop and we are very lucky to be able to continue our work with our experienced and successful franchise partners.” This summer, Build-A-Bear succeeded in opening up 22 franchise shops in eight countries. It is also expecting to have set up a further 29 to 31 branches by the end of the year.
Build-A-Bear Workshop Inc. was founded in St. Louis, USA, in 1997 and today has more than 255 stores in the USA, Canada, United Kingdom and Ireland. Further franchise shops in Europe, Asia and Australia has, the company says, made it into one of the leading interactive retailers. In November 2004, the system expanded its range of cuddly toys to include dolls opening up the first Friends 2B Made(R) shops in which the customers can design and make their own dolls. In 2005, Build-A-Bear Workshop had a total turnover of 362 million dollars.