Brexit knocks stuffing out of Build-a-Bear

Inside a Build-a-Bear shop

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If you go down to the woods today the teddy bears may be worrying about Brexit, according to a US company that makes stuffed toys.

Build-a-Bear Workshop has lowered its full-year revenue forecast mainly because of the UK.

It said “unresolved issues related to Brexit” had “negatively impacted consumer confidence”.

As a result, it expects sales outside the US market to drop by between 17% and 20% “largely isolated to the UK”.

Build-a-Bear, whose shops enable children to create and dress their own stuffed toys, also said other factors had affected revenues including currency exchange rates and the introduction of the EU General Data Protection Regulation, which are new privacy rules which it said “impeded our marketing communications”.

It also said that sales of themed stuffed toys had fallen due to “significantly fewer family-centric, character-based movies”.

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It said that sales in the US, where the majority of its 400 stores are located, will be 2% lower.

For the full year to 2 February 2019, revenue is now forecast to reach between $335m (£260m) and $340m. That compares to previous expectations of between $340m and $345m

However, Build-a-Bear expects sales to improve this year with the release of the film How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World and the sequel to the hugely popular animated movie Frozen.

Build-a-Bear chief executive Sharon Price John, said: “We continue to believe that the Build-A-Bear brand remains strong.”

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