March 05--Build-A-Bear Workshop is closing its store at Valley River Center, according to the company website, with March 24 being the last day.
The store opened at the center in 2006.
Valley River's marketing manager, Diana Bray, said mall managers are working on a replacement for Build-A-Bear. "It is a very high-Âprofile location," Bray said.
The store, part of a chain based in St. Louis, is designed for children from preschool age up to 10 or 12 years old, and allows them to create a customized teddy bear or other furry animal.
Company officials could not be reached for comment Monday, and a store employee declined to comment.
The company, which is publicly traded (NYSE: BBW), reported in February that it lost $49 million in 2012, following a loss of $17 million in 2011.
Build-A-Bear closed 10 stores in 2012, including at certain nontraditional locations, and remodeled 14 stores, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. It opened five new stores.
"The company continues to expect to close an additional 50 to 60 stores in fiscal 2013 and 2014 to reach its optimal store count of 225 to 250 stores in North America," according to the filing. "These select store closures are expected to transfer approximately 20 percent of sales to other stores in the same markets, which is consistent with the average transfer rate of the stores closed since 2011."
The Valley River store's online announcement of its closing asks customers to "please visit our Washington Square or Clackamas Town Center locations" in the Portland area.