Crowds of people waiting in line outside Build-a-Bear in Bluffton were turned away around 11 a.m. Thursday when the store ran out of stuffing during its Pay Your Age Day promotion.
Liz Runge, who is 6-months pregnant and had her 2-year-old and a 5-year-old cousin in tow, drove from Summerville to Bluffton for the sale.
She said they had been waiting in line for about two hours when the store at Tanger Outlets 2 closed.
“I expected there would be lines,” Runge said. “I didn’t expect this kind of crowd.”
Video posted on Facebook showed the line wrapping through the shopping center.
Runge estimated that “at least a hundred” people were turned away when the store was closed.
Those who were turned away were given a $15 voucher for a later visit, Runge said.
“It’s just a little bit frustrating when you stand in line in the heat for two hours,” Runge said.
Build-a-Bear announced Thursday morning on Facebook that it was closing lines at all of its stores in the United States and Canada because of crowds and safety concerns.
The Pay Your Age Day event promised any stuffed animal priced at the age of the buyer.
The response was “unprecedented,” according to Build-a-Bear’s Facebook page.
Massive crowds were reported at malls and shopping centers across the U.S. and the United Kingdom.
Were Runge’s kids disappointed they didn’t get a stuffed animal?
“I think they were happy to get out of the heat,” she said.