Build-A-Bear, the Overland-based do-it-yourself stuffed animal chain, is making a turnaround.
The company on Thursday reported a $14.4 million profit for 2014, its first profitable year since 2010.
Some of this is the result of a new CEO that the company brought on in 2013, Sharon Price John. Downsizing and changing store arrangements also contributed to the improvement, the company says.
The last two years were spent closing unprofitable stores, which accounted for 22 percent of North American stores, and moving stores towards a smaller size of around 2,500 square feet.
The second half of 2015, according to John, will be focused on moving the stuffing machines – where children actually stuff their own bears – to the front of stores to bring in more customers, and changing the store design to emphasize new licensed characters.