Party City shuts down stores, partly blames helium shortages. The New Jersey-based party supplies company did not release a list of affected stores but said the closures will take place throughout 2019.
Amid a global helium shortage, Party City announced Thursday it will shutter 45 stores in 2019.
There are 870 Party City stores in the U.S. and Canada and the closures represent about 5% of locations. Local news outlets have so far reported closings in California, Illinois, Connecticut and Washington.
Party City CEO James Harrison said in a statement Thursday the company typically closes 10 to 15 stores each year.
“This year, after careful consideration and evaluation of our store fleet, we’ve made the decision to close more stores than usual in order to help optimize our market-level performance, focus on the most profitable locations and improve the overall health of our store portfolio,” Harrison said.
The year has been a tough one for retailers with more store closings already announced than all of 2018. Based on figures from global marketing research firm Coresight Research, bankruptcy filings and company earnings reports, more than 6,500 have announced they will close locations.
In 2018, Coresight tracked 5,528 closings, which included all Toys R Us locations, plus hundreds of Mattress Firm stores, Kmart and Sears locations, and Brookstone’s remaining mall stores.
Party City said it is working to secure a new helium source and a contract, which is subject to final approval, would provide its stores with helium beginning this summer and continuing for several years.
“We believe this new source should substantially eliminate the shortfall we are experiencing at current allocation rates and improve our ability to return to a normal level of latex and metallic balloon sales,” Harrison said.