Puzzle, board game sales increase during pandemic

Coronavirus New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – People are stuck inside and are looking for ways to pass the time, other than binge-watching TV shows and going down rabbit holes on the internet. More and more people are turning to a blast from the past with jig-saw puzzles and board games.

“My husband loves, loves loves, Uno, so we’ve been playing that a lot. But then we do have other mind games, brain games and puzzles,” said Melonie Delgado, a Target shopper.

“We’ve been playing a lot of board games and doing jigsaw puzzles,” said Pamela Ulibarri, another Target shopper.

Both puzzle shelves at the Targets on Paseo Del Norte and in Upton are almost empty. The Target on Lomas Boulevard has a sign for customers walking in, letting them know they are out of adult puzzles.

There are a number of reasons why people are turning to puzzles and games. “Trying to keep them (daughters) off the social media. We’ve also been doing them to keep them off video games and online YouTube videos, and things like that, trying to cut down on screen time,” said Ulibarri.

“It just gives us something to do and I don’t know, it kind of brings back old memories of when we used to do it,” said Delgado.

Slice and Dice Pizzeria on Albuquerque’s west side is also noticing the trend. They sell board games in addition to pizza. While overall sales are down, the pizzeria said board game sales have gone from about 10% to 30% during the pandemic.

Target couldn’t give specific numbers on game and puzzle sales but did say there was a surge of “in-home activities” sales beginning in mid-March. Puzzle Warehouse is the largest puzzle distributor in the country. It said sales are up 2,000% this year compared to the same time last year.


New Mexico Coronavirus Resource Guide

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