The New Jersey-based Party City have announced the closing of 45 of their main stores.The main reason behind this step is shortage of helium at global level.
Although already having over 900 stores, 45 is triple the amount of stores, they close in any year. Being the second most abundant element in the universe, yet the world is struggling to find the gas for their needs.
The supplies have been running out due to ever-increasing demands for helium in aerospace and party businesses.
How the Party City is responding to the loss?
Shutdown of the balloon business has drastically affected the sales of Party City. Helium balloons were among the most profitable services of the company. The product brought people up to stores and made high sales.The company’s balloon sales fell below 8% last quarter resulting a 1.4% down in overall sales.
Party City has signed an agreement with a new helium supplier. The company believes the new supplier can help to make it’s balloon business better.The new supplies are expected to last for the next two years.
“We believe this new source should substantially eliminate the shortfall we are experiencing,” said Party City CEO James Harrison.
Moreover, the new supplier will be charging more than they pay.Thus the prices of balloons are expected to go higher.
Where does all the helium go?
Helium is one of the most abundant element in the universe.But it’s viable harnessing is still in process. On Earth, it is mainly a finite resource accounting for only 0.00052% of the atmosphere.
Most of the reservoirs lies beneath the ground. It is extracted from gas deposits and minerals, making it a rare element. Currently, the gas is only available at Ras Laffan Industrial City in Qatar and the National Helium Reserve in Texas.
The worldwide concern for helium shortage has taken a toll in the past few years.The researchers are doing their best to go for substitutes.
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