The St. Louis-based Build-A-Bear is closing all stores due to the coronavirus and furloughing 90 percent of its employees.
It already had reduced store hours and closed some stores.
But "given the most recent governmental recommendation to reduce gatherings from 50 to 10 people for the next 15 days," it is closing all stores until Thursday, said a letter posted on the company's website by Sharon Price John, the company's president and chief executive officer.
The furloughs become effective Sunday, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Furloughed employees will not be paid, but will continue to receive employee benefits including medical, dental, and vision benefits, the filing said.
Pay will be reduced for nearly all employees not placed on temporary leave, and base salaries for the company’s executive officers will be reduced by 20 percent.
Its popular "count your candles promotion" will be available for those with March birthdays when it reopens, Build-A-Bear said. Parties were not being rescheduled though.
Online orders still were being accepted, but delays of two to four weeks for delivery are expected.