Photos: Getting ready for Saturday's Games of Acadiana _lowres

The Party City store in Lafayette could be among the 45 stores the company says it will close as it grapples with a global helium shortage.

The Party City store in Lafayette could be among the 45 stores the company says it will close as it grapples with a global helium shortage, the USA Today reported.

The New Jersey-based party supply store has not released a list of which stores it plans to close but noted the closures will happen this year.

The company has 870 stores in the U.S. and Canada, including a store at 5700 Johnston St. in the Acadiana Square shopping center.

The company usually closes 10-15 stores a year, said CEO James H. Harrison after the company released its first quarter earnings, but will close more this year.

“After careful consideration and evaluation of our store fleet, we’ve made the decision to close more stores than usual in order to help optimize our market level performance, focus on the most profitable locations and improve the overall health of our store portfolio,” he said in a statement.

According to Party City officials, the supply of helium has been a concern for some time since only three sources produce 75% of the world's helium, leaving any disruption to cause a significant impact. The current supply is very low while demand is growing.

Party City reported a 1 percent increase in total revenue in the first quarter compared to last year and a 4 percent increase in retail sales.


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