(CBSDFW.COM/CBS Local) – Party City announced on Thursday that it will be closing 45 stores in 2019 while a worldwide shortage of helium is taking place. According to the company, the closures of the 45 out of 870 stores will occur throughout the year. The company has not yet said which store locations will be closing.
During a report of the Party City’s first-quarter results, CEO James Harrison said the helium shortage has “negatively impacted our latex and metallic balloon categories.” Despite the shortage, he said the company reported results that were expected, such as a 1% increase in total revenue and 4% increase in retail sales.
Harrison said the company usually closes 10 to 15 stores a 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 Party City CEO also announced that the company found a new source of helium that should help maintain its sales amid the global shortage.
“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.