What the Build-A-Bear fiasco can teach us about ‘supply and demand’
Number one: don't promise bears when you can't supply them.
Hundreds, if not thousands, if kids across the UK and US felt the pain of what happens when people don't think about supply and demand firsthand yesterday at Build-A-Bear.
What it means: It all started with such good intentions (or at least what they thought was a savvy marketing plan). Build-A-Bear, a toy shop which lets you design, stuff, and dress your own teddy, said that for one day only, you could pay your age for a bear: £3 for a 3 year old, £10 for a 10 year old, and so on. Seeing as the bears are usually between £12 and £27, or even up to £50 for a limited edition, it seemed like a pretty good deal.
Until. Turns out the trade-off for a discount bear was a lot more than people had bargained for. Mile-long queues emerged in front of stores, with people standing in line for over nine hours (probably ratcheting up the parking bill beyond the saved money on the price of the bear itself). One shop told people to stop joining the queue because they didn't have enough bears to sell to them all.
Needless to say, it was chaos. Lesson learned? People love bears, and people love a bargain. They really should have known.