ST. LOUIS, Dec. 20, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Sharon Price John, President and CEO of Build-A-Bear Workshop – an interactive destination where guests can create personalized furry friends – will share her gratifying and at times emotional experience on the hit CBS series "Undercover Boss" on Wed., Dec. 21, from 8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT.
Ms. John, who has served as President and CEO of Build-A-Bear Workshop since 2013, and four associates will be featured on the Season Eight premiere of the Emmy Award-winning reality series. In the episode, she dons a disguise and assumes a new identity to train with a Build-A-Party leader, a bear builder (store associate), a warehouse associate and an assistant manager.
Shortly after joining the company, Ms. John and her leadership team devised a multi-year strategic vision to evolve and extend the Build-A-Bear brand and return the company to profitability, while staying true to the unique culture that has allowed Build-A-Bear to be named to the FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For® list eight years running. Since Ms. John's arrival, Build-A-Bear has successfully undergone a financial turnaround and made key changes, including a brand refresh. Going undercover allowed her to see and hear firsthand how recent changes were being received.
"We began rolling out exciting changes in 2014, including a new logo and branding as well as a new store format called the Discovery store," said Ms. John. "Guest feedback in our Discovery locations is positive, but this was one of the only ways I could get unfiltered feedback from our associates. I wanted to see if they understood and were on board with the changes. It also gave me a chance to get to meet even more of our bear builders and warehouse associates, who are vital to the long-term success of our business. I had a great time and gained several insights for improvements that can be implemented at Build-A-Bear in time to celebrate our 20th birthday in 2017 and beyond."
While working with Ms. John, one associate mentioned his nostalgia for some of the more classic teddy bears that the company offered in years past. In response, Build-A-Bear Workshop is launching a new furry friend inspired by original Build-A-Bear products—Traditional Cocoa Bear—featuring posable arms and legs in U.S. and Canada stores beginning Thursday, Dec. 22, and at buildabear.com.
Another associate, who is responsible for training new bear builders, inspired the company to begin developing a "quick start" manual to help shorten the on-boarding process for seasonal and temporary associates. The company also plans to more directly engage with seasoned associates to obtain their feedback as updates are made to training processes and materials.
To learn more about Ms. John's journey, to hear the stories of the associates she met, and to find out what additional changes are in the works at Build-A-Bear, tune in to local CBS stations for the Season Eight premiere of "Undercover Boss" on Wed., Dec. 21, from 8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT.
"Undercover Boss" is a two-time Emmy Award-winning reality series that follows high-level executives as they slip anonymously into the rank-and-file of their own organizations. Each week, a different leader will sacrifice the comfort of their corner office for an undercover mission to examine the inner workings of their operation.
Founded in St. Louis in 1997, Build-A-Bear, a global brand kids love and parents trust, seeks to add a little more heart to life. Build-A-Bear Workshop has approximately 400 stores worldwide where guests can create customizable furry friends, including company-owned stores in the United States, Canada, Denmark, Ireland, Puerto Rico, the United Kingdom and China, and franchise stores in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, Mexico and the Middle East. The company was named to the FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For® list for the eighth year in a row in 2016. Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc. (NYSE: BBW) posted a total revenue of $377.7 million in fiscal 2015. For more information, visit buildabear.com.
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SOURCE Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc.