Build-a-Bear Updates Itself for Digitally Savvy Customers

In an effort to stave off falling sales, interactive toy retailer Build-a-Bear is trying to remake itself to appeal to young customers who are used to playing with smartphones and iPads.

According to The New York Times, new features at Build-a-Bear stores will include the following: “love me” touch screen where a child can choose a heart for his or her stuffed animal. Other new options include a customized sound chip and scents like chocolate chip or cotton candy that can be embedded in the stuffed animal.

The animal can also be dressed in numerous outfits tailored to boys and girls. In addition to a name, the animal gets a birth certificate and a bar code that allows a lost animal to be tracked and returned. That happens about 500 times a year, the company said.

The new stores will offer a separate section for boys, who make up about 30 percent of customers.

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