GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Jigsaw puzzles are very popular right now as people around the country are having to stay at home due to the pandemic.
One company, White Mountain Puzzles, is very busy because of it. One of the owners, Sean Minton, says he's never seen anything like it.
"In the last two weeks, and especially in the last seven days, it has exploded,” Minton says. “All our retailers that are still open are calling us for more puzzles. Their shelves are empty. Our online website has gone haywire. Amazon is completely out of puzzles."
People have gone wild for puzzles, especially right here in Michigan, where we are currently under an executive order from Governor Whitmer to stay home.
"It's actually our number one state for puzzles," said Minton. “Michiganders love working on puzzles.I think it has something to do with the weather possibly”
And White Mountain Puzzles knows where their bread is buttered, which is why they've made several puzzles specifically for the Great Lakes state.
"We have several regional puzzles. We have a Best Michigan puzzle. We have a Michigan Beer puzzle, the Mackinac Island puzzle."
Minton says that the increase in demand is not just in Michigan these days. They are seeing big numbers from coast to coast; they've even had to shut down their warehouse temporarily to catch up with all the demand.
"We're seeing volumes of seven to 10 times normal volume," Minton notes.
But despite their recent success, Minton knows what’s good for his company comes at a time when a lot of people are hurting. "I know there's a lot of people out there struggling,” he says, but he and his company knows they are providing a small bit of joy and comfort.
“We can picture families sitting around the puzzle, doing one of our puzzles and getting away from the distraction that's going out there in the world."
Last year White Mountain Puzzles sold more than 2 million puzzles, but they expect sales to be much higher in 2020.