'Build-a-Bear' chaos as customers queue for hours to get bargain toys with reports of pregnant worker 'punched by a customer'

Sophie Williams

Chaos ensued at Build-a-Bear Workshop stores across the UK after it offered a 'Pay Your Age Day' promotion.

Vast queues formed with shoppers waiting for hours to get the children's toy for the price of their child's age as part of the special one-day promotion.

But chaotic scenes ensued a some locations. At one shop in Belfast, a customer claimed she had seen another customer punch a pregnant member of staff.

Some families queued for up to nine hours outside the stores to snag the bargain toy. Customers were offered the chance to 'pay their child's age' offering huge discounts on the toy for those with younger children.

People were also seen queueing at Lakeside shopping centre (@SirKnoe)

In many of the shopping areas, security was brought in to help.

The bears are priced from £15 to £50 however during this promotion, customers only had to pay their 'age' with a minimum price of £1.

Due to the demand, Build a Bear Workshop told the Standard that it has cancelled the promotion.

It said: "The response to our Pay Your Age Day event at all of our U.K. locations has been overwhelming and unprecedented in our 21-year history.

Custmoers in Birmingham queued for hours (@pop_ruth)

"The crowds have greatly exceeded our expectations and, per local authorities, queues have been closed and we cannot accept additional Guests at our U.K. stores due to extreme crowds and safety concerns."

At Build a Bear in Brent Cross, customers were faced with two-hour-long queues.

People were also seen queueing in Leicester (@solarpilchard)

Linda Wilkinson went to the store and said: "So disappointed with the #buildabear promotion, got there early at Brent Cross with a two-year-old, when they finally opened the doors it was a free for all.

"I just gave up, I didn't stand a chance."

The queue at The Mall in Bristol stretched through the entire shopping centre (Emma Parry)

However in other locations, the queues were much worse.

Families at Meadowhall shopping centre were told there is a nine-hour wait. While shoppers in Leeds waited for around five hours.

According to some customers turned away at the store, staff have started to hand out £12 vouchers.