Build-a-Bear Workshop's Pay Your Age day on Thursday, designed to give parents a break on pricing, caused huge crowds and the company was forced to stop allowing customers inside.
Lines at local stores formed outside the stores early in the morning and circled outside suburban malls.
The promotion said that kids could pay their age for a stuffed furry friend when they visited a Build-A-Bear Workshop. For example, if your child is 7 years old, you would pay $7; if your child is 2 years old, you would only pay $2. Clothes and accessories were not included in the promotion and were regular prices.
However, the crowds were larger than expected.
The company posted an "urgent alert" on its website early Thursday.
The alert read: "Please be aware: Based on the unprecedented response to our Pay Your Age Day event in our early opening stores, we are experiencing significantly longer than expected lines and large crowds. Local authorities are requiring us to limit the lines and crowds due to safety concerns. We understand this is disappointing, we are working to address the situation, and we will be reaching out to our valued guests soon."
There are several locations in the area including Woodfield Mall, Northbrook Court, Gurnee Mills, Oakbrook Center, Fox Valley Mall and Fashion Outlets in Rosemont.
If customers did get in, parents or guardians over the age of 18 had to first enroll in the free Build-a-Bear Bonus Club rewards program or provide an email address and name so that a guest, could pay his or her age for a furry friend.