Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc. (St. Louis), a retailer of customized stuffed animals, plans to build a 350,000-square-foot distribution center in Groveport, Ohio, 10 miles southeast of downtown Columbus. The $24-million center will serve as the primary distribution center for the company’s North American stores. The company expects it to be operational by September.

“Our company has significantly broadened its national store presence over the past several years, and we have ambitious plans for future growth,” said Barry Erdos, president and chief operating officer. “We believe our new, centrally located state-of-the-art company-owned distribution facility will improve inventory control and management, realize greater efficiencies, and reduce operating costs.”

Build-A-Bear Workshop currently has three distribution centers operated by third-party providers in St. Louis, Toronto and Los Angeles. The company reports that it will continue to use the third-party distribution centers in Toronto and Los Angeles. It will use the St. Louis site as a distribution point for local markets.

Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc., operates more than 200 stores in the United States and Canada. In November 2004, the company expanded the make-your-own concept from stuffed animals to dolls. The company posted total revenue of $302 million in fiscal 2004.

Source: Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc.