Build-A-Bear Workshop last week unveiled "Workshop Wednesdays," an online program that offers kids and families access to creative activities and entertainment during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As part of the program, each week the toy retailer will provide new activities for the family, ranging from recipes and DIY-craft ideas to coloring sheets and games, according to a company statement.
The retailer also introduced enhanced features to its online Bear Builder, which mimics the in-store experience by allowing users to choose and customize a stuffed animal. Customers can listen to Build-A-Bear Radio on iHeart Radio and watch the Build-A-Bear YouTube channel, the company also noted.
As the coronavirus pandemic continues to disrupt the economy, brands are looking for ways to maintain a connection with people remotely. Build-A-Bear has tailored its offering to its core audience. Other retailers, like grocery stores and bridal shops, have also rolled out virtual initiatives.
"With Workshop Wednesdays, we hope to continue to deliver what families have come to expect from Build-A-Bear, starting with our innovative online resources and continuing with unique in-store activities when we are able to reopen our physical stores," Build-A-Bear president and CEO Sharon Price John said in a statement.
Overall, the toy category has had a hard time finding its way after the decline of Toys R Us, even as others including Target, Walmart and Amazon have attempted to grab market share in the category. Early this year NPD Group estimated that retail sales for toys in 2019 were down 4% to $20.9 billion.
Build-A-Bear also hasn’t been immune to COVID-19's impact on the retail sector. In late March, the company furloughed more than 90% of its workforce, joining other retailers and brands that have done the same.