NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A sweet deal to score children fuzzy new friends went wrong Thursday when overwhelmed Build-A-Bear Workshop stores across the nation shut down a special promotion halfway through the day, leaving thousands of children and parents disappointed.

The promotion priced the company’s stuffed animals equal to each child’s age, starting at $1. Customer response went far beyond expectations.

Huge lines were reported outside stores in Boston, San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago and New York.

At around 1:45 p.m., the company tweeted that all stores would stop taking new orders today.

“Urgent Alert: Per local authorities, we cannot accept additional Guests at our locations due to crowd safety concerns. We have closed lines in our stores. We understand some Guests are disappointed and we will reach out directly as soon as possible,” the company posted on Twitter.

By mid-afternoon, the retailer had issued an apology to customers and offered vouchers for children to get their stuffed animals another day.

“We feel it is important to share that, based on the information available to us before the day began, we could not have predicted this reaction to our Pay Your Age Day event,” the company statement said. “We understand that many Guests were turned away as, due to safety concerns created by the crowds, authorities in certain locations closed Build-A-Bear stores and, in other locations, we were forced to limit the line.”

Social media tracked huge turnout at the retailers across the county.

Build-A-Bear Workshop On 34th Street, Manhattan

Staten Island Mall: 

Menlo Park Mall in New Jersey: 

Paramus Park in New Jersey:

Around The Country:

Photo Credit: Jamie Laureen Armstrong

Photo Credit: Jamie Laureen Armstrong

The photos above were taken at the Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg, Ill. Both the pictures feature a look at the line inside and outside the mall for the Chicago suburbs’ Build-A-Bear Workshop. The major mall is located northwest of Chicago.