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Helium shortage reaches Party City

If you’re a small mom-and-pop shop that sells balloons, you’ve surely been hit with the lack-of helium that’s been available as of late. If you read PHR regularly, you know we’ve been covering the issue regularly, with an in-depth article on the background in our March/April issue.

According to the research we’ve conducted, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. “Most estimates are the supply will be restricted through this year, though availability should increase in 2020,” Dan Flynn with Qualatex told us a few months ago.

But bigger shops like Party City are feeling the pain too, so you’re not alone. With the release of its first-quarter financial results, the large chain also announced it will be closing 45 stores across the country — which is around three times the amount typically closed annually — and its citing helium as the reason, according to multiple news sources. You can read CEO James Harrison’s statement here.

Helium is being used faster than it can be produced and harvested, and with tight restrictions on the usual resource (Qatar), it’s become a bit of a waiting game with alternatives.

Originally posted Monday, May. 13, 2019