A few months ago, a couple of stations closed in my area because their older electronic pumps could not be programed to charge over $4 per gallon. Rather than spending lots of money to install new pumps, they just quit.
The smart thing to do would have been to keep the prices at 4.00 and then say you have to buy something in our store... huge draw in due to the price and huge amount of sale of goods!! Then they make them buy something in the store that they get a huge profit margin on and bingo your still positive
I don't know about you guys, but in sc, there's been a huge gas scare over Ike. At every single gas station, there were 30+ cars in line to fuel up last night. I counted (in Irmo, a small suburb of Columbia) 7 gas stations out of fuel. I didn't buy into the scare, even though I go through gas like its nothing (driving at least 100 miles a day). The news is broadcasting gas going up to $5 a gallon, and some paranoid stations in sc have already raised prices based on suspicions that all the refineries will be damaged. This picture was taken in sumter, about 60 miles from columbia. The most expensive in columbia right now is 4.29. I'm still not buying into it. I'm going to ride the problem out, and wait until gas prices go back to normal (but still too high for me!).
Ugh I hate the media and all this speculation. We went through decades of hurricanes without much problem, but now all of a sudden since one closed some down a few years ago, EVERY hurricane is going to cause a catastrophic meltdown in our supply and the whole country is going to be out of gas. The hurricane could probably be headed for Canada and people would still think this.
I wish somebody would build another refinery or two for the first time in 30 years to alleviate all this stress. Maybe that would rid people of the hairline they think we walk in terms of gasoline production. Our refineries have typically shrank production to 60% or so every spring of the last 100 years to do regular maintanence, but only in the last couple years has this been a big problem (this extends to being limited by effects of hurricanes).