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First Look: Build-A-Bear Workshop’s New Store Concept

BY CSA STAFF

Build-A-Bear Workshop has gone high-tech. The company has debuted a new store design that combines its signature hands-on bear-making experience with innovative technology that’s right in line with today’s digitally savvy kids. The new format, which premiered in Build-A-Bear Workshop’s renovated location at West County Center, St. Louis, also provides more interactive options to keep shoppers coming back.

Two years in the making, the new store design is the first significant overhaul of Build-A-Bear Workshop’s store environment since the chain was launched 15 years ago.

“Since our inception, over 100 million stuffed animals have been made in our stores,” said Maxine Clark, founder and CEO, Build-A-Bear Workshop. “With this new store design, we have combined the love of a teddy bear with the best of digital technology.”

The changes start on the facade, which now features a large digital sign. Using Microsoft’s Kinect technology and interactive touch elements, shoppers can play games on the screen by waving their hands.

The brand’s signature stuffed animal-making experience remains the core of the store experience. But the overall environment has been updated with a host of new high-tech stations that increase hands-on engagement. The space also now sports audio "zones" so that sounds can be targeted to specific parts of the store.

The new options include increased further personalization at the “Hear Me” station, where shoppers, using an interactive touch screen supplied by Canvys, can now select and load popular hits from current music or sounds onto a chip plus record their own voice to personalize their stuffed animal. And at the “Fluff Me” station, shoppers can play with their new pets at a “water rippling and splashing” digital bath tub that is enabled by Samsung’s SUR40 with Microsoft PixelSense technology. The tub recognizes the items as they are placed on it and reacts with sensory effects such as virtual bubbles that appear when play soap is placed on the “water surface.”

In another new element, scents, ranging from chocolate chip to bubble gum to cotton candy, can be embedded in the stuffed animal.

The company plans to roll out the new environment in five additional locations (in both new and existing locations) by November, including Stoneridge Shopping Center, Pleasanton, Calif.; Annapolis Shopping Mall, Annapolis, Md.; The Somerset Collection; Troy, Mich.; and Fair Oaks Mall, Fairfax, Va.

Working with Build-A-Bear Workshop on the concept were Adrienne Weiss Corp.; Oei Design, Epoch Design Group, and Studio Productions. The company also partnered with Microsoft Corp., Samsung Electronics America, Infusion, Nanonation, Epicor Software, Parametric Sound Corporation, and Canvys — Visual Technology Solutions.


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duyentran607 says:
Apr-20-2013 10:38 pm

Working with Build-A-Bear Workshop on the concept were Adrienne Weiss Corp.; Oei Design, Epoch Design Group, and Studio Productions. Chatrandom

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Apr-20-2013 06:47 am

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P.Lopez says:
Apr-10-2013 01:46 pm

The changes start on the facade, which now features a large digital sign. Using Microsoft’s Kinect technology and interactive touch elements. chat random

P.Lopez says:
Apr-10-2013 01:46 pm

The changes start on the facade, which now features a large digital sign. Using Microsoft’s Kinect technology and interactive touch elements. chat random

M.Mirevski says:
Jan-29-2013 10:03 am

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Jan-10-2013 09:55 am

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Jan-10-2013 09:55 am

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Cranberry king thankful for new facility

BY CSA STAFF

Ocean Spray, the world’s largest cranberry cooperative, has opened a new $26 million state-of-the-art cranberry receiving station facility in Richmond, British Columbia.

British Columbia is a major cranberry-growing region and Ocean Spray’s new facility in Richmond greatly expands the $2.1 billion cooperative’s processing capabilities. Located about four miles from the former Richmond receiving station, the new site offers more convenient accessibility for local growers and more space and capacity for operations. Providing a 50% increase to Richmond’s current receiving capacity, the total daily capacity of the new facility will be in excess of three million pounds, with annual capacity approaching 100 million pounds. Additionally, growers should see decreased wait times when delivering their crops to the receiving station.

The new facility also includes equipment to sort and screen cranberries, as well as the means to bin all outbound fruit. Further, the new station’s expanded capacity and improved capability ensures that British Columbia remains positioned to meet all fruit receiving and cleaning requirements. Ocean Spray will utilize the cranberries processed at its Richmond facility for products such as Craisins Dried Cranberries and juice concentrate. The facility is Ocean Spray’s first new receiving station in 15 years.

"As Ocean Spray continues to expand business across the globe, the Richmond community has been an important partner," said Peter Dhillon, Ocean Spray’s Vice Chairman of the Board and Richmond-area cranberry grower. "Almost 20 percent of Ocean Spray’s total acreage in North America is in British Columbia, and so the new state-of-the-art receiving station will help us maximize the efficiency of handling our crop."

Ocean Spray is an agricultural cooperative owned by more than 700 cranberry growers in Massachusetts, Wisconsin, New Jersey, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, and other parts of Canada as well as 35 Florida grapefruit growers. Founded more than 80 years ago, Ocean Spray is North America’s leading producer of bottled juices and juice drinks, and has been the best-selling brand name in the bottled juice category since 1981.

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Another retailer achieves a major milestone

BY CSA STAFF

During a year that saw Dollar General open its 10,000th store and AutoZone opens its 5,000th store, rent-to-own retailer Aaron’s has opened its 2,000th location.

The Atlanta-based retailer specializing in the sales and lease ownership of residential furniture, consumer electronics, home appliances and accessories, designated a store in the Bronx, New York as its 2,000th location.

"Aaron’s has experienced tremendous growth over the past three years including the addition of 345 stores, 2,200 jobs and record quarterly results," said Ronald W. Allen, CEO and president of Aaron’s. "We are pleased to extend this success into the Bronx, where we’re excited to become an integral part of the community. Over the next few years, it’s our plan to foster economic development in the New York market with more store openings, bringing new job and partnership opportunities to the area.  We’re proud to become a new member of the Bronx community and are confident our presence here will have a permanent and positive impact through services offered, partnerships developed and charitable outreach."

Given the location in a community synonymous with baseball, Aaron’s enlisted the aid of legendary baseball player, manager and Major League Baseball’s EVP of baseball operations, Joe Torre, to make an appearance an unveil a specially commissioned portrait of Babe Ruth. Aaron’s donated the portrait to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum and a replica will be hung in the store.

Aaron’s was founded in 1955 by Atlanta entrepreneur Charlie Loudermilk and a partner who borrowed $500 to purchase folding chairs they began renting to local auction houses. The Company became publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange in 1982 and was renamed Aaron’s, Inc. in 2009.

 

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