ECONOMY

Covid-19 is good for puzzles

covid-19-is-good-for-puzzles

One of the big winners of the Greek lockdown has been jigsaw puzzles. Greeks both young and old have sent online sales of this category of table games soaring 1,654 percent month-on-month, according to a survey that tracked the switch of consumers to online purchases because of the Covid-19 restrictions.

Puzzles are not alone in seeing sales soar. Online sales in general saw turnover jump 134 percent in the week from March 30 to April 5 compared to a year earlier, according to a survey by the Greek Electronic Commerce Association (GRECA) in cooperation with the BestPrice and Skroutz online platforms, along with Google and the eMarket Intelligence team of the Convert Group.

The pace of growth keeps increasing: In the week when stores were forced to close, spending at e-shops increased 58 percent year-on-year, while annual growth in spending came to 100 percent a week later (March 23-29).

There are three main trends in consumption to be noted at this unprecedented juncture: products for teleworking and remote communication, commodities for home entertainment and physical exercise, and self-protection measures.

In the first week of restrictions, when schools and then food service outlets closed in mid-March, health-related products posted an 81 percent increase compared to just a week earlier; then, in the second week, when stores were shuttered, entertainment commodities soared 152 percent, before the categories of sports and hobbies posted a 433 percent jump in the third week.

The comparison of the latest data with those of February show that, besides the massive rise in jigsaw puzzle sales, web camera sales have increased 1,256 percent and single-use glove sales have grown 1,121 percent. Oximeters have also proved extremely popular, with their sales showing a rise of 970 percent.

On the other hand, there has been a huge decline in sales of spare parts for cars, as well as clothing and shoes, which are obviously explained by travel restrictions that are keeping people at home.