Build-a-Bear Workshop Australia salvaged from collapse

Nick Hall

Build-a-Bear Workshop Australia has been salvaged from the brink of collapse, following a decision from creditors.

On Monday, the business revealed a Deed of Company Arrangement had been approved, effectively seeing the company out of administration.

The move eases pressure on the embattled retailer and comes just two months after the Australian franchise cited tightening economic conditions as the cause for the action.

Gavin Port, Build-a-Bear Workshop Australia CEO said as a result of the new deed, more than 200 jobs had been saved.

“We are very pleased to be able to continue offering the Australian guests with the unique experience Build-A-Bear has to offer,” Port said.

Build-a-Bear Workshop Australia administration process

In March, Build-a-Bear announced it had entered voluntary administration, signalling a close to 10 of its 30 stores. All other stores would remain trading while the brand came to terms with its future.

Build-a-Bear outlined increased operating costs, wages and rent, and reduced shopping centre foot traffic as primary factors.

The move had aimed to restructure the retail footprint for a more sustainable, long-term future.

“We have an incredibly dedicated team, and have established a brand that resonates with consumers of all ages. The company will continue to focus on bringing smiles and a unique experience to our guests,” Port said at the time.

That future now looks set to continue, with the CEO revealing the brand is ”very thankful for our partners’ support in ensuring the future of the business in Australia”.

Repair process

The new Deed of Company Arrangement sees three of the previously closed locations at Marion (SA), Miranda (NSW) and Carousel (WA) reopen. The other seven stores will remain closed for now.