Press Release


Two Beloved Toy Companies 'Add a Little More Heart' with the First Build-A-Bear Experience in Milan

ST. LOUIS, Sept. 14, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Build-A-Bear Workshop (NYSE: BBW) is thrilled to announce its partnership with the franchise, Giochi Preziosi, on the opening of the first Build-A-Bear location in Milan, Italy. The new location will be in the Hamleys at the Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, and will be operated by Giochi Preziosi. The partnership aims to bring even more joy and heartwarming experiences to guests and tourists in Milan. This will be the first Build-A-Bear location in Italy, and the first opening in partnership with Giochi Preziosi, with additional stores planned for the future.

This will be the first Build-A-Bear location in Italy with additional stores planned for the future.

The Build-A-Bear experience will provide guests with the opportunity to create their own unique furry friends. From participating in the iconic heart ceremony to choosing from a wide assortment of accessories, this location promises an unforgettable bear-building experience for children, teens, and adults alike.

"We are thrilled to bring to Build-A-Bear to Milan and in a beautiful and historic shopping gallery, where we can serve even more guests from around the world, and be part of creating special memories for them," said Chris Hurt, Chief Operations Officer at Build-A-Bear. "This location and our partnership with Giochi Preziosi, is an example of our commitment to continued international growth. As a global brand, we strive to find opportunities to bring our renowned bear-building experience to more locations."

Hamleys Milan is situated in the heart of Milan, at the renowned Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, a well-known bustling thoroughfare adjacent to the historic cathedrals of Piazza del Duomo and Piazza San Babila.

At Build-A-Bear Workshop, kids — and kids at heart — engage in a hands-on entertaining process to create their very own, personalized furry friends. The experience begins by choosing from a wide array of plush animals and then stuffing them with love with the assistance of a BEAR BUILDER® associate including participating in Build-A-Bear's iconic Heart Ceremony. A wide range of clothing and accessories allows each new friend to be customized and unique. The process completes when Guests fill out a birth certificate and then take the new furry friend home. The personal nature of the interactive experience often fosters a lasting and emotional brand connection.

Build-A-Bear is a multi-generational global brand focused on its mission to "add a little more heart to life" appealing to a wide array of consumer groups who enjoy the personal expression in making their own "furry friends" to celebrate and commemorate life moments. Nearly 500 interactive brick-and-mortar experience locations operated through a variety of formats provide guests of all ages a hands-on entertaining experience, which often fosters a lasting and emotional brand connection. The company also offers engaging e-commerce/digital purchasing experiences on including its online, age-gated, adult-focused "Bear Cave". In addition, extending its brand power beyond retail, Build-A-Bear Entertainment, a subsidiary of Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc., is dedicated to creating engaging content for kids and adults that fulfills the company's mission, while the company also offers products at wholesale and in non-plush consumer categories via licensing agreements with leading manufacturers.

The GP Group was founded in 1978 by Enrico Preziosi as a wholesale distributor of traditional toys. It subsequently began the exclusive distributor of leading international toy manufacturers. The first transformation of GP Group took place after a few years: when the group began selling of internally developed toys. Later on, the group gained accreditation with the main worldwide licensors for the distribution of toy lines connected to famous children's cartoons and films. Finally, by exploiting and capitalizing on the experience gained in distribution activities and in the development of its properties, GP Group became one of the main partners of the international entertainment companies for developing master toy licenses at the European level.

GP Group currently is one of the European market leaders for traditional toys. It has strengthened its position through the acquisition of the Spanish market leader, the Famosa Group. GP Group is made up of more than 30 legal entities and operates in 6 European countries, in addition to Turkey and Mexico, through its subsidiaries. The group serves the rest of the world via local distributors. GP Group currently holds franchising agreements with around 400 Italian toy stores operating under the own trademark "Giocheria" and during the last two years, in the context of a development retail business project, has opened 5 direct stores under the trademark "Giochi Preziosi" and "Giocheria" in some of the main Italian cities.

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SOURCE Build-A-Bear Workshop

Build-A-Bear Media Contact: Jaime Ludwig,