Crowds shut down lines at metro Detroit Build-A-Bears for 'Pay Your Age' event

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Photo: Jasmine Williams at Twelve Oaks Mall, Novi

A special promotion at Build-A-Bear Workshops Thursday is causing chaos at malls around the country. 

The company announced the "Pay Your Age Day" promotion earlier this month, meaning the customer's age determines the price for the stuffed animal. The event was for one day only, Thursday, July 12.

Hundreds of families lined up with kids in tow at stores across the country to get the heavily-discounted furry friends. 

Here at home, one woman who was at Twelve Oaks Mall in Novi told FOX 2 she was told there was a 10-hour wait, and that the store began handing out $15 vouchers while turning away guests.

Sheryl Walsh-Molloy, Director of Communications for the City of Novi, confirmed to FOX 2 that the Novi location ran out of bears and began handing out vouchers, and that the store is expected to run out of vouchers soon, too. She added that mall security is handling the crowd. 

Thursday morning around 11 a.m., the company announced lines are now closed and additional guests are not being accepted at any location, due to crowds and safety concerns.   

"Per local authorities, we cannot accept additional Guests at our U.S. Build-A-Bear Workshop locations due to crowd and safety concerns. We have closed lines in our U.S. stores. We understand some of our Guests are disappointed and we will reach out directly as soon as possible," a statement on the Build-A-Bear website reads. 

An earlier statement said this was an "unprecedented response."

Build-A-Bear has three locations in the metro area: Twelve Oaks Mall in Novi; Somerset Collection in Troy; and at Great Lakes Crossing Outlets in Auburn Hills.