Nothing says "party pooper" quite like a lack of decorations. They're a key aspect of any proper get-together, whether you like to hang balloons and streamers or go all-out with a theme for your birthday. But stocking up at one particular party supply chain will no longer be possible, as the company just confirmed it's going out of business. Read on to find out which chain will soon be closing all of its stores.
READ THIS NEXT: This Popular Retail Chain Is Closing Stores, Starting Oct. 5.
Store closures have affected every sector of the economy.
Brick-and-mortar businesses close every day. During the COVID-19 pandemic, it was devastating to watch so many small businesses close up shop for good. We've since returned to a semblance of normalcy, but we're not completely out of the woods, and store closures continue to make headlines.
Big-name brands have been forced to close locations, including Bed Bath&Beyond, which announced plans in August to close 150 "lower-producing" stores, and CVS, which is shuttering 900 locations over the next three years. Grocery stores aren't safe either, as Kroger, Lidl, and Whole Foods have also shut down locations this summer.
These chains are still staying afloat, though, unlike Olympia Sports. In July, the retailer confirmed it's going out of business and will close all of its stores by the end of September. Now, another chain has been forced to call it quits.
These stores will be gone for good.
Unfortunately, 50-50 Factory Outlet, a Wisconsin-based chain, will soon be closing all of its locations. According to the company website, there are four stores across the state, in Eau Claire, Janesville, Schofield, and Fon du Lac.
In a statement on the company's website, Scott Lystrup, owner of 50-50 Factory Outlet, noted that he will miss "putting smiles on my customers' faces knowing they are going to have a fantastic party…and especially the look of awe and amazement when a first-time customer and their kids come in!"
The reasons aren't necessarily surprising.
While they're fun, party supplies probably aren't what you'd put on a list of "essential items"—and if there's one thing people were avoiding at the height of the pandemic, it was parties. Unfortunately, even 50-50 Factory Outlet, which has been serving customers for 40 years, can't continue amid decreased demand.
In a press release provided to NBC-affiliate WEAU News, Lystrup said lingering challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic contributed to the decision to close the four stores, as well as rising prices of goods and ongoing inflation. He said declining sales and general stress were additional factors.
"It's sad, absolutely. We've had so many great people working for us here over the years and do now," Lystrup, who acquired the stores eight years ago, told ABC-affiliate WQOW. "This is not the way I anticipated my life course, but I'd like to get out while there's a chance of getting out with my head held high."
Locals are invited to shop at a final sale.
There is no set date for the closings yet, Lystrup told WQOW, but he did confirm that there will be a going out of business sale at all four locations.
Those in the area can shop for discounted party supplies, office and school supplies, home décor, and toys. According to a Facebook post on the 50-50 Factory Outlet – Schofield page, furniture and other equipment will also be on sale for up to 50 percent off. The sale launches on Wednesday, Sept. 28, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Despite the sale announcements, customers are disappointed to see the business go. "I'm really sad to hear the store is closing," one Facebook user wrote on the Schofield location's page. "I've been going here since I was a child. We will miss you being part of our community."
"This really stinks," another wrote on the Fond du Lac location's Facebook page. "Thanks for all your years of serving the community with party needs…especially balloons in my case."