Party City is clarifying reports that a helium shortage led to the decision to shutter some of its U.S. stores.
In a statement, CEO James Harrison said the move to close 45 locations was “completely unrelated to the global helium issue.”
“These are two separate topics, the latter of which we’ve made significant in-roads in addressing,” he said. Party City said earlier this month that an agreement was in the works with a new source of helium.
All of the closures will be at stores in the U.S., where 10 to 15 stores are typically shuttered each year. No Canadian stores are expected to close in 2019.
“As it relates to Party City Canada our stores have not experienced any helium shortages and continue to be able to meet all of our customer’s needs,” said Harrison.
The store closures were announced to shareholders last week as part of the company’s efforts in “maximizing store performance on a market basis,” despite the individual stores being profitable.
“We believe that the opportunity to recapture much of the business conducted in the closed stores in other Party City locations within the market will provide for overall improved profitability for our Company,” said Harrison in the statement.