How Jigsaw Puzzles Saved a Sellwood Game Shop

Cloud Cap Games managed to match last year’s sales figures for the month of November.


Sector spending increase: 27.8%

Like other shops in Portland, Cloud Caps Games in Sellwood had to adapt in the face of the pandemic. The store now takes online reservations for curbside pickup; four or five customers are allowed inside at a time, instead of dozens.

The product line that saved the store: jigsaw puzzles.

Stuck at home, 20- and 30-somethings have joined the traditional customer base of seniors, buying up puzzles to keep them occupied at home. "It's been challenging ordering puzzles from our distributors," says Alex Babakitis, 31, who bought the shop in July with a partner after working there for five years. He's stocked the big companies, but also Pomegranate Puzzles: "They're local, so they're easier to get."

Cloud Cap managed to match last year's sales figures for the month of November, thanks to a decent Black Friday and a better Saturday. "We managed to have a better Small Business Saturday than last year. I keep looking at the numbers," he says. "It's just awesome to see how the community has turned out to support businesses like us."


Jigsaw puzzles

Ravenswood Puzzles are the most popular brand. But customers typically choose a puzzle because they like the image.

Chess sets

These saw a boom in popularity after the Netflix series The Queen's Gambit became a hit.

Two-player games

Popular editions include Jaipur and Aqualin.

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