LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -A nationwide helium shortage is deflating a local party business, along with the rising use of online retailers like Amazon. As a result, that decades old one-stop-shop for party supplies announced it is going out of business.
From balloons, to baby shower supplies, wedding cake toppers, and plates, if you want it for a party, the Party Warehouse probably has what you’re looking for.
Their most popular item though has to be the balloons, but now that item that keep them afloat, may be grounded indefinitely.
Kim Hodges, one of the owners of the warehouse says right now, “only national contracts can get helium right now and the majority of those are obviously your hospitals, there are some chain stores that had a national contract and are able to get some helium but not as much as they’re used to as well, so we have been out of helium since November.”
That shortage stemming from several factors, including sanctions on overseas supplies, and lower U.S. production, but balloons aren’t the only thing hurting business.
“A lot more people shopped on Amazon instead of getting out and coming into the store,” says Hodges. “And the thing with Amazon sales is you have 30 days and you can turn it back, and I know probably a lot of people bought their costume, wore it and send it back….It’s hard these days for brick and mortars especially when you have such a big building , you’ve got your rent your utilities, your employees.”
Now they’re looking for someone else to takeover. “We don’t have a new buyer yet, we have about three people that are interested,” adds Hodges.
While no buyers have made any offers at the Party Plus Warehouse, at Gales Wedding Rentals and First class Tuxedo, recent talks have made them optimistic for the future.
“We do have a couple of potential buyers for the tuxedo and the wedding rental side so those things are not going to be clearance right now, just Party Plus Warehouse merchandise.”
For anyone that’s already rented for future occasions, the Hodges want customers to know that, “If you have any rentals coming up, whether it’s on the tuxedo or rental side, no worries, we will honor those. If it’s us or if it is a new owner, I do not want ya’ll to worry. They will be taken care of one way or another.