Rockaway-based novelty purveyor Party City will close 45 of its 870 stores in 2019.
Affected stores have not been announced, but they will be in various locations across the country, according to a Party City spokesperson.
According to a statement from Chief Executive Officer James Harrison, the retailer usually closes 10 to 15 stores yearly in response to ongoing consumer and market changes. This year, he said, they made the decision to close more “in order to help optimize our market-level performance, focus on the most profitable locations and improve the overall health of our store portfolio.”
Though the company reported its recent quarter results were within expectation, it has been affected by a global helium shortage. Helium is a natural resource, typically found in small quantities in the ground mixed with natural gas, then separated. Three sources provide 75 percent of the world’s helium, according to the Party City website.
On Thursday, Party City announced it had secured another helium source which, subject to final execution of a definitive contract, would provide additional helium from the beginning of the summer through the next 2.5 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 in a statement.
The impending 45 closures are in no way directly correlated to the global helium shortage, a Party City spokesperson told NJBIZ.