BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — North America’s largest puzzle manufacturer is seeing nothing but empty shelves.
As the coronavirus concerns grew in the United States, so did jigsaw puzzle sales. Buffalo Games CEO and President, Nagendra Raina, said jigsaw puzzles are perfect for both kids and adults as they search for engaging activities.
"As a fun fact, last week as a snapshot, puzzles for adults were the eighth-most searched term on Amazon," Raina said. He said the category has seen growth for several years now. Flashback to December 2018 and Buffalo Games was busier than ever. But no one predicted this.
"These things are tough to guess. You don’t have a demand curve for a pandemic. You don’t think about it in those terms," Raina said.
Since mid-March Buffalo Games has sold more than one million jigsaw puzzles. In fact, the company saw a weekly demand jump of about 1,500%.
"We are pretty much sold out, or will be sold out, in the next few days," Raina said.
A quick search on Target, Walmart and Barnes and Noble websites, quickly paints the sold-out picture. Since the manufacturer is considered non-essential under Governor Andrew Cuomo's orders, production has halted. The company has stopped accepting new orders.
"We would love to get back to business because we are looking at this as a medicinal product because that’s what we’re hearing from our consumers at this time," Raina said.
Buffalo Games is hopeful that time is soon, but until then –- "Just stay patient," Raina said. He continued, "A lot of our puzzlers are big puzzlers. They have 100 of our puzzles. I would recommend them (to) go back in your closest, pull out one of your old memories and put it together again."