Toy specialist Build-A-Bear Workshop has lowered its entry price point to draw in customers in the downturn, as it revealed a robust full-year performance.

Build-A-Bear Workshop, which wants a total of about 75 stores in the UK over the next five to 10 years, has lowered its entry price from£12 to£8.

Managing director of UK trading Roger Parry said: “We’re making Build-A-Bear Workshop accessible for everyone and have seen no degradation to our average transaction value, which is£19.80.”

The US retailer, which specialises in customised toys, revealed that at its European operation – which comprises 51 stores in the UK and Ireland and three in France – full-year pre-tax profits soared from US$700,000 (£498,114) to US$1.3m (£925,069) in the year to January 3, 2009.

The retailer’s like-for-like sales climbed 7.7 per cent, while revenue rocketed 28 per cent to US$75.5m (£53.7m). In the fourth quarter, like-for-like sales rose 6.7 per cent.

Parry claims the retailer is succeeding in the downturn as it offers “something different” for consumers. He said: “It’s a unique concept for families that want a little bit of an experience when they go shopping.”

He said the retailer has continued to deliver a strong performance since the year-end, with January going “very successfully” followed by an “excellent” February. “Our plan is to be double digits up on last year and we’re exceeding our targets considerably,” said Parry.

He said the retailer has “worked hard on the product mix and increased the amount of newness in stores,” adding that he is “keeping an opportunistic eye open” for any property opportunities. However, he does not plan to open any this year as the market is tough. His long-term goal for the UK is 75 stores.

At a group level, the retailer reported that full-year profits have plummeted 79.7 per cent to US$4.6m (£3.3m). It operates 346 stores worldwide including 292 in North America.