Build-a-Bear International Expansion Into the Chinese Toy Market Essay

Words: 7916
Pages: 32

“At Build-A-Bear Workshop®, our mission is to bring the Teddy Bear to life. An American icon, the Teddy Bear brings to mind warm thoughts about our childhood, about friendship, about trust and comfort, and also about love. Build-A-Bear Workshop embodies those thoughts in how we run our business every day.” (Build-A-Bear Workshop - Our Company 2009)

Build-A-Bear Workshops was started in 1997 by current CEO Maxine Clark, and there are now over four hundred Build-A-Bear Workshop stores worldwide. They have 346 wholly owned subsidiaries in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Canada, the U.K., Ireland and France. There are also 62 franchised retail stores in International locations – Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Japan, The
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Build a bears goals are to

1. Initially establish their first branch in Shanghai and develop brand recognition and reputability amongst the Chinese people.
2. Should Build a bear be able to develop a brand within Shanghai and become renowned for its unique entertainment retail experience within the first two years it will then set up another branch in Shanghai.
3. Within four years we wish to expand to Beijing. We hope to begin capitalize on a now already established monopolistic structure, good brand recognition and improved relationships with suppliers to ascertain that expansion is the correct move and be definite the Chinese market is worth staying in.
4. If we can dominate the toy markets in these two target cities we aim to tackle a nationwide strategy of expansion to locations that include Hong Kong, Shenzhen & Guangzhou. Realistically this goal will not be achieved for at least 6 years.


Population of outside America BAB companies: 819.742 million
Population of BAB companies including America: 1.13 billion
Population of People’s Republic of China: 1.34 billion


Analysing Existing Global Business Structure

The company currently operates 345 stores, of which 291 are located in North America, and the remaining 54 are in Europe. There are an additional 65 franchise stores around the globe. The stores are an average of 2700 square feet and uniformly decorated in a visual and colourful manner. The