Hot Growth Special Report 2006 >



Build-A-Bear Workshop (BBW)

Build-a-Bear Workshop continues to roar. Despite tough competition across the globe, the St. Louis stuffed-animal chain has managed to claw out double-digit growth, jumping 20% in the previous year, to $361.8 million in 2005, and is expecting another near 20% leap in 2006. Net income grew even faster, rising 36%, to $27.3 million from $20 million. One reason for the good fortunes come from CEO Maxine Clark's voracious appetite. She has expanded the company to 200 stores in 43 states and Canada, with 30 more outside North America. Clark also acquired Bear Factory, a British teddy-bear-stuffing retailer, in April. That's expected to help fortify Build-A-Bear's global position. The challenge will be to fight off others gnawing at Build-A-Bear's heels. Animal-stuffing machines, in fact, are now being sold online for a few thousand bucks, which means rivals could pounce from anywhere.

Company Info

2005 Rank


Market Value*
($ Millions)


($ Millions)


Sales Growth
(3-yr. avg. annual)

30.0 %

($ Millions)


Profit Growth
(3-yr. avg. annual)

73.9 %

Return on Inv. Capital (3-yr.)

17.8 %

Share Price
12-Mo. Hi/Lo


Share Price
As of 4/28/06


Return on Equity

19.8 %

P/E Ratio


No. of Employees


Industry Specialty Stores


Location St. Louis
Phone 314 423-8000
*Trailing 12 months
Stock price data as of 4/28/06
DATA: Standard & Poor's Compustat

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Build-A-Bear Workshop

Bullish for Bears -- Toy Ones, That Is

Bear Necessities

Company Snapshot

Build-a-Bear Workshop operates as a specialty retailer of plush animals and related products. It offers a selection of merchandise, including approximately 30 styles of animals to be stuffed, as well as various clothing, shoes, and accessories for the stuffed animals. As of Mar. 10, 2006, the company operated 200 stores in 43 states and Canada, as well as an Internet store. As of the above date, Build-a-Bear Workshop also had 30 franchised stores worldwide. The company was founded by Maxine Clark in 1997 and has its headquarters in St. Louis, Mo.

Data provided by Capital IQ
Maxine Clark

Maxine Clark, 57

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Total Compensation*

$ 1,290,788

Total Options Value*

$ 10,452,000

* Fiscal Year 2005

University of Georgia - Bachelor's Degree

Executive Bio

Maxine Clark is a founder of Build-a-Bear Workshop and has been its chief executive since 1996 and chairman since April, 2000. Clark served as president of Build-a-Bear Workshop from its inception in 1997 to April, 2004. Prior to founding Build-a-Bear Workshop in 1997, Clark served as president and chief merchandising officer of Payless Shoesource from November, 1992, to January, 1996. Previously, she held key management and merchandising positions at May Department Stores. She served as executive vice-president of women's and children's apparel at Famous Barr and executive vice-president of Softlines for Venture Stores from 1988 to 1992. Clark began her retail career as an executive trainee at the Hecht Co. in 1972. She has been a director of J.C. Penney since December, 2003. Clark has been a director of Sara Lee Bakery Group since 1996 and serves as a director of Build-a-Bear Workshop. Clark also serves on the board of trustees of the International Council of Shopping Centers and as a member of the Committee of 200, an international organization for female entrepreneurs and top corporate executives. She serves on the board of the Simon Youth Foundation and the Girl Scout Council of Greater St. Louis, the board of trustees of Washington University in St. Louis, the advisory council of the Olin School of Business at Washington University, the board of Barnes-Jewish Hospital, and the board of trustees of her alma mater, the University of Georgia. Clark earned an undergraduate degree in journalism from the University of Georgia.

Management Team

Key Executives

Maxine Clark; Barry Erdos; Scott Seay; Teresa Kroll; Tina Klocke

Board Directors

Louis M. Mucci; Barney A. Ebsworth; James M. Gould; William M. Reisler; Mary Lou Fiala; Coleman Peterson; Joan E. Ryan; Barry Erdos; Maxine Clark

Executive Data provided by Capital IQ