Party City closing 45 stores due to helium shortage

Party City closing 45 stores due to helium shortage

"Helium shortages fluctuate over time and across geographical markets, but anywhere between 50 and 200 of Party City's 850 stores don't have any helium in their tanks at any given time".

Party City has announced it will shutter 45 stores due to a global helium shortage.

"Each year, Party City typically closes 10-15 stores as a part of our prudent network optimization process and in response to ongoing consumer, market and economic changes that naturally arise in the business", said James M. Harrison, CEO, Party City Holdco. There are now 24 in MA, per the Party City website. Other party stores told the news outlet that they had run out of helium and were not taking any further orders.

The company's reports its retail operations include more than 900 specialty retail party supply stores (including franchise stores) throughout North America operating under the names Party City and Halloween City, and e-commerce websites.

Seventy-five percent of the world's helium comes from sites in Qatar, Wyoming and Texas, but USA reserves are running low, and may not be replenished.

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At this time, the reserves are being depleted.

As a solution, the New Jersey-based company urged party planners to opt for "a balloon arch or balloon wall with latex and foil balloons" which did not need helium, "just some tape and creativity". "We're working to replenish the helium at the affected stores as more supply becomes available".

The company said the closures will take place throughout the year.

Harrison said the company's first quarter results were largely in line with the expectations on the top and bottom lines, inclusive of a helium shortage.

In the meantime, Harrison explained that the retail store has signed an agreement with a new supplier "for a new source of helium, which would provide for additional quantities of helium beginning this summer".

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