The Party’s Over: Party City to Close Dozens of Stores Due to Helium Shortage
No, this isn't an April Fools' joke, and we aren't making this up. Party City, the New Jersey-based party supply company, announced Thursday it will close around 45 stores nationwide. The reason, which may sound surprising, is the dwindling supply of helium.
According to USA Today, 75% of the world's helium comes from just three sites. One of those three, located in Texas, is currently depleting their reserves due to increasing demand. Prices have skyrocketed in the past few years, and now Party City is looking for other sources to fulfill their needs.
Graduation and wedding season are upon us, so the shortage is causing parents and party planners to scramble for ideas. Party City proposes alternatives to customers such as balloon arches and walls that don't need helium, just tape, and promises to help customers who can't get helium balloons "throw an unforgettable party."
There is no word yet from Party City as to which 45 of its 870 stores nationwide will close. In the press release CEO James Harrison said, “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.”
There is currently only one Party City location in Genesee County (Miller Road) and eight total in Michigan.