Parents face nine-hour queues at Build-A-Bear shops across Britain

Parents face nine-hour queues at Build-A-Bear shops across Britain

There are scenes of chaos around the country and fears of ‘riots’ as thousands of families queue for Build-A-Bear stores’ ‘Pay Your Age Day’ promotion.

Parents are reporting queues of up to nine hours as stocks run out because of an ‘unprecedented demand’ for the teddy bears, which can sell for up to £50 – but are on offer today for as little as £1. 

Stores in Telford, Shropshire, Basingstoke, Hampshire and Sheffield, were forced to close early and refused people entry amid ‘extreme crowds and safety concerns’.

Anthony, one father who was among around 1,000 other people waiting with their children, said: ‘I don’t know what’s worse, England losing or queuing for a bear.’

Hundreds of people were pictured gathering outside one of the popular stores in The Rock, Bury

One mother filmed ‘utterly insane’ queues as hundreds of eager parents waited in line for the bears – and said she even feared there could be riots

Delighted youngsters pictured with their discount bears at the St Davids shopping centre in Cardiff

Children can walk away with a new stuffed toy simply by paying their current age in pounds – instead of the normal retail price, which starts at around £15. All bears are included in the deal which led to a huge surge in demand.  

One mother filmed ‘utterly insane’ queues as hundreds of eager parents waited in line for the bears – and said she even feared there could be riots.  

Fiona O’Reilly, 31, filmed hundreds already queuing before the shop opened at Newcastle’s Metro Centre

Fiona O’Reilly, 31, from Gateshead, arrived at Newcastle’s Metro Centre at at 8.15am this morning to purchase bears for each of her four children.

She was shocked by the hundreds already queuing before the shop opened at 10am and feared there could be fights as parents argued in the queues. 

She said: ‘It was complete madness; I wouldn’t be surprised if there were a few riots over this today. I managed to get there early and it took just over an hour for me to get all four bears.

‘However, the queues are starting to get so long, and the store only has four staff making the bears, so I reckon people will be waiting all day. There’s already people fighting in the queues!’

Fiona paid just over £24 for four bears which could have cost more than £200 on a normal day. The video she shared to social media has already racked up 22,000 views in an hour. 

One mother, who asked not to be named, told MailOnline she burst into tears as she waited for bears in Bracknell, Berkshire with her 16-month-old and four-year-old. 

She said: ‘I got there at 8.50am and there was a queue of around 30 people in front of us. They opened all four doors at the same time and we were being crushed. 

‘It was awful and I was so upset I burst into tears. 

‘I had to park the pushchair and take my little girl away from it because it was so frightening. I gave up after 40 minutes after being told our wait was at least two hours despite the fact we were nearly at the front.

‘It was so dangerous. My little boy was so scared he just wanted to get out.

‘My friend is at Basingstoke and they said she was five hours away and stopped the queue. The manager told us to pay for our bear and go back another time to get it stuffed.’

Hundreds of customers were turned away from other Build-A-Bear Workshops with sobbing children after the promotion led to nine hour queues and stores selling out.

 Build a Bear, St Davids shopping centre, Cardiff, which is offering people to buy bears at the age they are

Huge queues have formed in Cardiff as eager families wait patiently for one of the popular toys 

At one of its biggest stores at the Bullring Centre in Birmingham, the shop announced on Twitter at 10.50am it had sold out of all stock as large queues continued to form outside.

One mother was refused entrance when she tried to join the queue at the Build A Bear store in Meadowhall, Sheffield, despite arriving before the shop opened.

HAVE YOU BEEN STUCK IN THE QUEUES?  

Email amie.gordon@mailonline.co.uk or ring 020 361 53729

She said: ‘We arrived around 9.45am, about 15 minutes before it was due to open. The line was almost full length of one side of the shopping centre.

‘A member of staff told us to go home as we couldn’t join the line and it was up to a nine hour wait for people already waiting. My two year old toddler now can’t get the bear that he was looking forward to.’

The promotional exercise has also seen many families handed £12 vouchers after missing out on getting a cheap bear.

Martin Knott, who was turned away from the store in Solihull at the Touchwood Centre, tweeted: ‘Hundreds of kids now emotionally distressed after they were told they were getting teddies. Thanks for lying for my daughter! This voucher better hold the same offer!’

Mother Rikki said she was refused entrance to the store in Telford. She tweeted: ‘I have a very disappointed tw

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