- Seeking to attract customers across key segments, Build-A-Bear Workshop has named Julia Fitzgerald as its new chief marketing officer, according to a Thursday press release.
- Fitzgerald has previously held marketing roles at other companies and organizations, including Sylvan Learning, Sears, VTech, Hallmark and the American Lung Association, per the announcement.
- Fitzgerald will report to CEO Sharon Price John as part of the company’s senior leadership team.
As the company’s chief marketer, Fitzgerald will lead Build-A-Bear’s brand communications, integrated marketing, public relations and creative services.
In a statement, John said that 40% of Build-A-Bear Workshop’s customer base are teens and adults and noted that Fitzgerald’s experience will aid the company’s marketing and communications strategy. Fiscal year 2022 was the most profitable in the company’s history.
Per the company’s fiscal year 2022 earnings report, its revenue grew by 13.7% to $467.9 million year over year. Its pre-tax income rose 22.1% to $61.9 million.
“Over the last few years, we have been building new ways to drive profitable growth as a digital, multi-channel, diversified, site-based entertainment and experience company,” John said in a statement. “As we continue to celebrate 25 years of ‘adding a little more heart to life’ we have strong momentum with two record breaking years in a row. Expanding the leadership team to include this critical and strategic role will allow us to continue to build upon the special and lasting relationships we create with our guests and consumers.”
The website for Build-A-Bear Workshop has been critical to reaching different customer segments. Last September, the retailer unveiled a newly redesigned website with refreshed product visualization, payments and checkout features. It also revived its Bear Builder 3D workshop tool to help customers create customized bears.
In an investor presentation, the retailer noted that its experience locations are tailored to families with children, but the target audience for its website is collectors and gift givers, meaning tweens, teens and adults. The retailer said it changed its website in late 2022 to feature multiple shop-in-shop landing pages catering to these customer segments and shopping occasions.