Helium Shortage Causes Party City to Close Stores

Child in novelty glasses, pulling multi coloured balloons acround a back yard

Did you know there’s a helium shortage? It’s serious and a party supply store is even feeling the pinch.

Here’s the backstory: A big reason for the shortage is that about 75% of all the helium comes from just three places: Ras Laffan Industrial City in Qatar, ExxonMobil in Wyoming and the National Helium Reserve in Texas. The demand is outrageous at this point as it’s used in surgeries and scientific research besides for party balloons.

Party City, which specializes in balloons, is planning to close 45 of its nearly 900 stores amid a global helium shortage. The company's CEO said it usually closes between 10 to 15 stores per year. This year they will be closing about 5 percent of their locations.

Shares of the company's stock increased 10 percent after announcing the store closures and that they have found a new helium source. Sales of Mylar balloons were down eight percent because of the shortage.

Photo: Getty Images

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