Carly McGinnis, Exploding Kittens' COO

Carly McGinnis, Exploding Kittens’ COO

If 2020 looked like 2019 for toy brand Exploding Kittens, it would have planned for steady sales until about Easter, a slump until Amazon.com’s Prime Day sale in July when sales would jump by three to five times normal for an entire week, and decent sales until a busy Q4 holiday season.

But 2020 was not normal for many businesses, including Exploding Kittens, because of the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, the toy brand had to contend with a major supply chain disruption when its Chinese factories shut down at the end of March, stock-outs at its leading wholesale account Amazon.com Inc., and sales that increased 100% to some days 300% from March until September, says chief operating officer Carly McGinnis. And the busy holiday season hasn’t even started yet.

Here’s how the toy brand held on and thrived during the wild ride.

COVID-19 impact

Most of Exploding Kittens’ games are made in China.

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