Party City closing 45 stores, already announced by retailers this year.

Party City said Thursday that it will close 45 stores in 2019, adding to the thousands of store closures already announced by retailers this year.

The Westchester County-based party supplies company said the closures will take place throughout the year. The company has 870 existing Party City stores across Canada and the United States, including 80 in New Jersey and New York.

“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,” James M. Harrison, the company’s chief executive, said in a statement.

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The company did not say which stores it plans to close, but did say the closures will allow the company to focus on its most profitable locations. A company spokesperson said in an email that the closures will be “in various locations across the country.”

The number of anticipated closures is triple what the company had anticipated. Party City usually closes 10 to 15 stores annually, Harrison said.

The Party City announcement adds to a grim string of retail closures announced by U.S. retailers so far in 2019, as companies struggle with changing consumer habits and competition from online retail giants such as Amazon.

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Coresight Research, which keeps a weekly tab on store closures and openings in the United States and United Kingdom, said U.S. retailers have announced 6,130 store closures so far in 2019. That count was before Party City’s announcement.

Last month, the number of store closures announced in the United States exceeded the total number of closures for the entirety of 2018, the research firm has said. In 2018, the company tracked 5,864 U.S. store closures. The company expects closures will continue to climb and will reach 12,000 over the course of 2019.

Party supplies retailers, especially mom-and-pop shops, have struggled against online competition. Last year, The Party Box in Lodi closed its doors for good after 50 years in business. The owners retired, and they said evolving shopping habits could mean the end of an era for stores like theirs.

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The old Party Box space, which underwent a recent makeover, now sits vacant on Route 17 next to Satin Dolls, the strip club known for its role as the Bada Bing in “The Sopranos.” A large sign above the property indicates it’s still available for a new tenant.

Party City’s closures were announced as part of the company’s first-quarter earnings release on Thursday. Its results took a hit because of this year’s global shortage of helium, Harrison said in the company’s earnings report.


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