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Exclusive: Boxing Clever – Games & Puzzles Talking Shop

Published on: 7th September 2021

Sam Giltrow spoke to retailers about Games & Puzzles, finding out what’s selling well and how they encourage customers to see them as a go to destination for the category.

This month, Toy World would like to thank Mark Green of The Yorkshire Jigsaw Store, Easingwold; Jake Cannon of Firestorm Games, Cardiff and Mike Berry of Leisure Games, London, for sharing their expert insight on the Games & Puzzles category.

“Our bricks and mortar store in Easingwold was rebranded to The Yorkshire Jigsaw Store in 2014 with the aim of creating the largest jigsaw store in Yorkshire,” Mark Green told us. “Our website has been getting busier and busier each year – and as soon as Covid hit, it went ballistic.” Mark went on to detail his most popular selling puzzles, and how the team uses its extensive knowledge to help customers. With over 30,000 people now on the company’s mailing list, a new warehouse is being built to cope with demand.

Jake Cannon’s three bricks and mortar Firestorm Games stores and webstore are part of the Toymaster group, and, although he has seen sales of board games plateau this year, Jake is delighted that this is at a higher level than pre Covid. “This would suggest customers who have been introduced to games as a hobby, or who have returned to it, are still enjoying it and are going to continue purchasing,” he explained.

The stores’ gaming areas are operational once again, and Jake believes this has a beneficial effect on sales. Like The Yorkshire Jigsaw Store, Firestorm Games has an eye on expansion, developing its Cardiff site in a new location that will house the bricks and mortar store, webstore warehouse and shipping operation, as well as hosting the South Wales Gaming Centre and an in-house café.

Mike Berry, meanwhile, is building up Leisure Games‘ inventory earlier than usual this year in preparation for Christmas, because of anticipated supply problems. He has noticed a reduced number of games coming through Kickstarter at the moment, and fears that supply chain issues mean that there are less new titles being released this year. However, there remains a wealth of games that he enjoys recommending to customers, and Mike is looking forward to having people back playing games in the shop and holding in store events.

All the retailers are looking forward to a busy run up to Christmas, and are hoping that families will be able to get together this year.To read the full feature, which appeared in the Toy World September Games & Puzzles Supplement, click here.

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