Well, this will sure ruin a party.

Party City announced that they will be closing 45 stores around the U.S. According to the company's CEO, they typically close 10-15 stores per year but the decision to close more in 2019 was

...to help optimize our market level performance, focus on the most profitable locations and improve the overall health of our store portfolio.

We don't know the affected locations yet but the closures will happen before the year is over. The company says there are approximately 870 Party City locations.

Amid all of this, there's currently a shortage of the world's 2nd most abundant element -- helium. Because of the shortage, the company's sales of latex and metallic balloons were negatively effected. The CEO also stated that they signed a contract for a new helium source for the next 2 ½ years.

We believe this new source should substantially eliminate the shortfall we are experiencing...

In a report from the Detroit Free Press, we have been going through a helium shortage for years and it's not only a threat to your child's birthday party but to the medical industry and jobs in general. Now that's a bummer... or shall I say "party pooper?"

The  reason for the shortage is simple: there's an increased demand for Helium and 75% of it is supplied from only three facilities (in Qatar, Wyoming & Texas) in the world. A store owner in the metro-Detroit area told the Free Press that the cost of helium has gone up 30% since January which rolls on to their customers who have to pay more for balloons.

There are six Party City locations in the West Michigan area

  • Grand Rapids
  • Grandville
  • Holland
  • Muskegon
  • Portage
  • Walker