Balloons are no longer just for birthday parties. Companies are creating air-filled works of art that can cost thousands of dollars.
Party City, the national retail chain, says it plans to close 45 stores this year. That’s about triple its typical rate of store closures. Sales have been declining, but the stores are also suffering from a global shortage of helium. That’s not the kind of thing you want to run out of when nearly 20% of your business comes from pre-filled balloons and helium tank rentals.
On the other hand, air is free, and people in the balloon business have gotten very good at cashing in on it.
If you’re a member of your local public radio station, we thank you — because your support helps those stations keep programs like Marketplace on the air. But for Marketplace to continue to grow, we need additional investment from those who care most about what we do: superfans like you.
Your donation — as little as $5 — helps us create more content that matters to you and your community, and to reach more people where they are – whether that’s radio, podcasts or online.
When you contribute directly to Marketplace, you become a partner in that mission: someone who understands that when we all get smarter, everybody wins.