Police called as build-a-bear offer causes safety fears at Belfast shop

The Build-A-Bear store in Belfast where police were called to deal with crowds who turned up for an over subscribed 'pay your age' promotion and has since had to clos
The Build-A-Bear store in Belfast where police were called to deal with crowds who turned up for an over subscribed 'pay your age' promotion and has since had to clos

Police were called to a Build-A-Bear store in Belfast to maintain order amid reportedly chaotic scenes as parents and children queued for a cut-price offer.

Staff were forced to close the store in the Victoria Square complex on Thursday due to "safety concerns" as customers turned up en masse to avail themselves of the 'pay your age' deal.

The Build-A-Bear store in Belfast where police were called to deal with crowds who turned up for an over subscribed 'pay your age' promotion and has since had to close

The Build-A-Bear store in Belfast where police were called to deal with crowds who turned up for an over subscribed 'pay your age' promotion and has since had to close

The episode unfolded on what is otherwise a very quiet day on the commercial front in Belfast, as many shops close for the Twelfth of July Orange Order commemorations.

But queues stretched long outside the Build-A-Bear store in the morning as adults sought to pay the age of their children in Sterling for stuffed toys that usually retail for much more.

Shortly before lunch the police had to be called amid reports of staff in tears and arguments over queue jumping.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland said they attended at around 12.40pm to "maintain order".

The Build-A-Bear store in Belfast where police were called to deal with crowds who turned up for an over subscribed 'pay your age' promotion and has since had to clos

The Build-A-Bear store in Belfast where police were called to deal with crowds who turned up for an over subscribed 'pay your age' promotion and has since had to clos

A spokesman added: "No offences have been detected at this time."

A spokeswoman for Build-A-Bear said: "The safety of our guests and employees is our top priority. We are aware of the situation in Belfast and, in the interest of the safety of our employees and our guests, this store has been closed."

Streams of parents and children continued to arrive at the store through the afternoon only to be disappointed upon finding it closed.

A sign on the window apologised for the inconvenience caused.