Gibsons MD, Kate Gibson, has apologised for low stock levels as widespread puzzle demand continues.
The company has thanked customers for their patience while it works hard to get things back to normal, reassuring puzzle enthusiasts that the team and is doing its very best to supply product “that can bring you joy during this difficult time.”
Managing director, Kate Gibson, has published the following statement on the Gibsons website:
“I would like to apologise for our stock levels at this time. We appreciate how frustrating it is when you can’t find your chosen puzzle or when stock becomes available and is quickly sold out again.
These are unprecedented times and demand has increased astronomically. Jigsaw puzzles are the perfect hobby during a pandemic. We saw this in April, when our demand increased by 132%. We reacted as quickly as we could to adjust our processes and to ensure we could meet demand. However with the nights getting darker, a second lockdown and Christmas on its way, demand is again outstripping supply.
The good news is we are doubling our efforts to make more jigsaw puzzles. To keep up with demand, we have invested in a brand new puzzle machine which will be able to cut puzzles twice as fast as the older machines. This is a hugely complicated machine that takes a team of experts and many weeks to install. We are still making tweaks, but once the machine is up and running to full capacity, we will have plenty more puzzles available.
Many of you will know that we also supply thousands of retailers from around the world. If you are able to leave the house safely, we urge you to get out and support your independent retailers and local garden centres as they need your purchases now more than ever before. (An up to date list of stockists is available on the Gibsons website).
If purchasing online is your only option then we do update our web stocks regularly and highly recommend that you sign up to be notified by email for when your favourites are back in stock. To do this, simply click on your puzzle of choice on the Gibsons website and submit your details where it says ‘email when back in stock.’
Thank you for your patience while we work as hard as we can to get things back to normal. We are a small team, but I give you my word that we are doing our very best to ensure you have a product that can bring you joy during this difficult time. If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to reach out.
Kate Gibson – Managing Director.”
Gibsons has experienced a period of steady growth, which has accelerated due to the nation turning to puzzling during lockdown, and has recently welcomed three new members to the team to meet expanded needs of the company.
Jigsaw puzzles have become a favorite pandemic pastime, and Gibsons is not the only company facing challenges in keeping retailers fully stocked. “There’s a global shortage of puzzles,” Brian Way, co-owner of the online US retailer Puzzle Warehouse, told the NPR website. “There’s not a factory on the planet that is not months behind on production.”
Manufacturing puzzles is not as simple as it might seem, explains Brian. “The kind of cardboard you have matters. How the picture is affixed to the cardboard, how it’s cut. The reason there is a global shortage is because the manufacturing is so complex and so expensive that there’s almost no new production coming onto the marketplace.”