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Party City to close stores amid helium shortage

Party City to close stores amid helium shortage
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The largest party supply store chain in North America announced this week it will be closing 45 stores amid a global helium shortage.

Thursday that it typically closes 10 to 15 stores every year.

This year, after careful consideration and evaluation of our store fleet, weve 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, said CEO James M. Harrison.

Shortages of the non-renewable gas negatively affected sales in the companys latex and metallic balloon categories, the statement said. Harrison added that Party City is working on an agreement for a new source of helium, which could provide increased quantities as early as this summer for the next two and a half years. The New Jersey-based company did not provide a list of stores affected.

While helium is typically associated with party balloons, the gas plays an important role in more serious areas, including medical imaging, electronics manufacturing, space exploration and nuclear energy.
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