|Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc. Reviews 2006 Highlights at Company's Stockholders Meeting|
ST. LOUIS – May 10, 2007 – The Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc. (NYSE: BBW) third annual meeting of stockholders as a public company was held today at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Bear Maxine Clark, reviewed the company's fiscal 2006 accomplishments and outlined plans for growth in 2007.
In her remarks to stockholders, Clark stated, “During 2006 we put important building blocks in place for our company's future growth. Through our United Kingdom acquisition we now have a new market where we can grow our store base and expand our brand. We will begin to realize benefits from our company-owned distribution center, which became operational in September 2006, this year. Our growth in North America, where we expanded our store base 17% in 2006, continues this year with 39 new stores planned, most in new markets – including Puerto Rico, Alaska and Quebec, Canada. We will continue to leverage our experience and core competencies and broaden our brand within interactive retail through non-traditional store locations and partnerships.”
During the meeting, company stockholders elected two Class III directors to serve until the 2010 annual meeting. The elected directors were James M. Gould, managing general partner of The Walnut Group, a group of affiliated venture capital funds, and Joan Ryan, retired senior vice president at Walt Disney Theme Parks and Resorts.
In addition, company stockholders approved the U.K. stock plan and the appointment of KPMG LLP to serve as independent auditors for fiscal 2007.
The company also outlined its store growth plans for 2007; in North America, Build-A-Bear Workshop expects to open a total of 39 new Build-A-Bear Workshop stores. In the U.K., the company plans to open seven to ten new stores, and in France the company plans to open approximately three new stores this year. International franchisees expect to open 20 to 25 new stores in 2007.
The annual meeting was broadcast over the Internet via webcast. The webcast is accessible through the Investor Relations page of the Build-A-Bear Workshop corporate web site, http://ir.buildabear.com.
About Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc.
Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc. is the only global company that offers an interactive make-yourown stuffed animal retail-entertainment experience. Founded in St. Louis in 1997, the company currently operates more than 275 stores in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Ireland. The addition of franchise stores in Europe, Asia and Australia make Build-A-Bear Workshop the leader in interactive retail. In November 2004, the company expanded the makeyour- own concept from stuffed animals to dolls with the opening of its first friends 2B made® stores, where Guests can make their own doll friends. Build-A-Bear Workshop (NYSE: BBW) posted total revenue of $437 million in fiscal 2006. For more information, call 888.560.BEAR (2327) or visit the company's award-winning Web sites at www.buildabear.com and www.friends2bmade.com.
This press release contains "forward-looking statements" (within the meaning of the federal securities laws) which represent the Build-A-Bear Workshop's expectations or beliefs with respect to future events. These forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated. Those factors include, without limitation: we may be unable to generate comparable store sales growth and may continue to have negative comparable store performance; our marketing initiatives may not generate sufficient brand awareness and sales or demand for our retail experience; we may be unable to respond to changing consumer preferences; customer mall traffic may decrease as a result of various factors, including a reduction of consumer confidence because of terrorism or war; general economic conditions may worsen; our market share could be adversely affected by competitors; the availability and costs of our products could be impacted by international manufacturing and trade issues; our warehousing and distribution vendors may perform poorly, and we may be unable to realize the anticipated benefits from our distribution center; we may fail to protect our intellectual property and may have infringement, misappropriation or other disputes or litigation with third parties, which could be costly, distract our management and personnel and which could result in the diminution in value of our trademarks and other important intellectual property; we may be unable to open new stores, renew or replace our store leases, enter into leases for new stores on favorable terms, or continue to comply with our current leases; we may lose key personnel or be unable to hire qualified additional personnel, including store associates; vendor deliveries may be disrupted; we may not realize some of the expected benefits of the acquisition of Amsbra and The Bear Factory; we may be unable to effectively manage our international franchises or comply with changing laws relating thereto; we may experience communications or information systems failures; we may suffer negative publicity or be sued due to alleged violations of labor laws, employee regulations or unethical practices, either by us or our merchandise manufacturers; and we may violate or be accused of violating privacy or security laws by reason of improperly obtaining or failing to adequately protect Guest information. These and other applicable risks, cautionary statements and factors that could cause actual results to differ from the Company's forward-looking statements are included in the Company's filings with the SEC, including as described in the Company's annual report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2005. The Company undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward- looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances even if experience or future changes make it clear that any projected results expressed or implied therein will not be realized.
TRADEMARKS We would like to thank you for your interest in covering our business. As you write your story, we would ask that you use our full name: Build-A-Bear Workshop® and that when referencing the process of making stuffed animals you use the word “make” not “build.”
Build-A-Bear Workshop® is our well-known trade name and our registered trademark of Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc. Build-A-Bear Workshop® should only be used in capital letters to refer to our products and services and should not be used as a verb.
CONTACT: The Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc.