Amid a global helium shortage, Party City announced Thursday it will shutter 45 stores in 2019.
The New Jersey-based party supplies company did not release a list of affected stores but said the closures will take place throughout the year.
There are 870 Party City stores in the U.S. and Canada and the closures represent about 5% of locations. Local news outlets have so far reported closings in California, Illinois, Connecticut and Washington.
Party City CEO James Harrison said in a statement Thursday the company typically closes 10 to 15 stores each year.
“It’s important to note that Party City’s decision to close an increased number of stores in 2019 is completely unrelated to the global helium issue,” Harrison said in an emailed statement Friday, noting that the company had “made significant in-roads in addressing” the shortage.
“The decision to close 45 stores in 2019 is part of our network optimization process focusing on maximizing store performance on a market basis,” Harrison said.
The company said it believes the closures will improve its overall profitability.