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Making teddies in Germany thanks to franchising

The American toy supplier, Build-A-Bear Workshop, is already active in many other countries outside its country of origin including Australia, Canada, France, Denmark, Sweden, Ireland, Great Britain and Holland. According to an article in the newspaper, Hamburger Abendblatt, the system has now been launched onto the German market with the first store being opened in the City of Hamburg. A second is also due to start business soon.

The concept: Build-A-Bear customers can make a cuddly toy of their choice on the shop premises. The products range from teddy bears to ducks and frogs to cuddly giraffes. Besides the actual animals, it is also possible to choose from a selection of clothes and sound chips. Since the system was founded in 1997, around 245 Build-A-Bear shops have been set up around the world. The company is now looking to conquer the German market, with its short-term plans being to set up shops in Berlin and the Ruhr region. Its more long-term target is to have a network of 60 Build-A-Bear stores all around the country by the year 2013.

The franchisor for Germany are five Danish people who opened up their first Build-A-Bear shop in Copenhagen and who now own five stores and employ 41 people. In 2005, the company had a turnover in Denmark amounting to approx. 6.9 million euros and profits of around 0.8 million euros.

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