Party City will close 45 stores; but where is unclear, even for our models

2 months ago by James Mattone in Facts, Trends

Recently, Party City ($NYSE:PRTY) announced that it would close 45 stores in 2019. All 45 of them weren't disclosed in full, but five stores were. In order to understand some commonalities across those five stores as a way to predict where Party City may be shuttering the other 40 stories, we ran a proximity analysis. The results aren't perfect, but they're certainly interesting and potentially telling.

Normally, we'd do a deep dive into Party City's locations to do some store proximity analysis. But here's the issue: these five stores have a rather weird profile.

Name

Nearest Store (Miles)

Nearest Store Name

Party City - Santa Clarita, CA - Plaza at Golden Valley

5.959

Halloween City - Santa Clarita, CA - River Oaks Shopping Center

Party City - Hemet, CA - Hemet Valley Shopping Center

10.505

Party City - Menifee, CA - Town Center Marketplace

Party City - Banning, CA - Sun Lakes Village

12.772

Party City - Hemet, CA - Hemet Valley Shopping Center

Party City - DeKalb, IL - Dekalb Market Square

20.318

Party City - Geneva, IL - Randall Square Shopping Center

Party City - Moses Lake, WA - Town Center

97.417

Party City - Spokane, WA - Northpointe Plaza

As seen above, none of these closed stores were within five miles of a sister store. And, what's even more interesting, the store closed in Moses Lake, Washington was nearly 100 miles away from the next closest store in Spokane.

Even looking at a heat map shows that these stores were not in locations where it had too many stores for the population. The Party City in Moses Lake is in a core-based statistical area with about 100,000 people, and the lone store there technically serves that entire group. Therefore, it does not seem to be a matter of too much supply for the given demand... When looking at the raw data.

These store closures are happening while there is a worldwide helium shortage, but Party City CEO James Harrison said the closures were "unrelated" to this crisis. With that said, in a 2017 investor relations video, Party City claimed that it does 60% of Worldwide Sales for metallic balloons, and 70% of its products are vertically sourced.

Looking at this using purely statistics may not be best, as the company also tends to close "10 to 15 stores annually" so it can focus on more profitable locations. The question, therefore, is where these profitable locations are that are keeping this company afloat, as currently, there doesn't seem to be enough helium to lift Party City's stock back over double-digits per share.

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James Mattone

James is the Associate Editor at Thinknum Media, mainly covering video games, food, and tech news, but not afraid to head into Sephora or beauty brands if need be...

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