Some New Aggression in Gas Pricing

Comment on the May 14 prediction: They did a reset on the 15th, but up to $3.69. Then, they did it again yesterday. So, CORRECT on the first hike, but WRONG on the price and I didn’t even see the second hike coming.

Wednesday, May 24, 2023, 3:00 PM: Every year or two, we see the retailers get more aggressive with gas prices, and the latest chapter of that adventure is here. Instead of jumping from the 0-cent margin price that I calculate, lately, it has been more about going from a 20-cent margin price to a 40-cent one. And who is to blame? Since Big Red was sold to 7-Eleven, they have been rather passive in the market, but maybe that is changing. We were blaming Big M a few months ago, but I don’t see them leading the hikes. Of course, K&G is not to blame, at least for now.

Whoever it is, we see everyone following suit, which is disappointing. But, when they reach for those higher margins, competition kicks in — they want you to stop by, get gas, and buy a pop — and some of the retailers cannot resist the temptation to price gasoline a few cents lower. I am already seeing that while driving around greater Grand Rapids, despite yesterday’s hike.

If history repeats itself, they’ll lose interest in these aggressive hikes sooner or later, particularly as the competition stops playing along. For now, though, we’re stuck with relatively high prices for a Memorial Day weekend of driving. -EA

Updated: May 24, 2023 — 3:02 pm


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  1. Speedways near me in the most competitive locations have simply stopped competing. To some extent that should decrease the frequency of price cycling, but it hasn’t. Sounds like this is not the case in markets where the dominate more. Speedways in NE IL have been making good money the last couple months.

  2. For whatever reason, instead of declining a few cents every couple of days, there’s a few stations around me, with a GREEDway among them, who are holding fast to $2.599, which came about maybe a week ago!! And yet in a couple cases, it’s 12 cents cheaper just down the street!

  3. Yeah, I’ve noticed, especially lately, that Big Red is holding fast to the $3.559-$3.599 prices, except where they HAVE to compete, especially with a Thornton’s. Thornton’s is in the upper $3.20s and low $3.30s in a lot of places. That’s about the only time you’ll see a Greedway below $3.559.

  4. South Bend IN – Family Express $piking to $3.69. Costco $3.01. SBN avg $3.36.
    ND Speedway x2 were $3.39 this morning.

  5. $3.699 in Ohio too.

  6. $3.99 in NW Indiana, led by Family Express

  7. $4.19 and $4.29 today from Speedway in Northeast IL. This was a dime below the hike week before last. Consistent margins in recent hikes $1.40-$1.50 above Axxis Chicago wholesale postings. starting in April, was 10-20c less (and sometimes WAY less earlier in the year and prior. Hey, gotta pay the bills 🙁

  8. NE Illinois had a second hike of 10c more yesterday ($4.29/4.39) in response to a 25c jump in wholesale for our boutique blend. Huh?

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