ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Family-owned and -operated Sheetz is helping reduce the pain at the pump for drivers by reducing the price of its fuel to $3.99 per gallon for E15, which is marketed as Unleaded 88, and $3.49 per gallon for E85 now through July 5, according to a news release.
“We thought it was a good opportunity to provide some relief. We know how difficult it’s been over the last couple of months,” Travis Sheetz said in an interview with Fox News.
Sheetz said the company knows high gas prices have a big impact on consumers. Gas prices are $4.84 on average nationally, down nine cents from a week ago, up 17 cents from a month ago and up $1.72 from a year ago.
Sheetz also acknowledged that high gas prices aren’t good for retailers either because if people have to spend more on gas, they have less to spend elsewhere.
“We thought it was an opportunity to give back and provide awareness around these alternate fuels, which we think are great options for people,” said Sheetz.
E15 is approved by the EPA for use in vehicles for model years 2001 or newer as well as light-duty trucks, SUVs and Flex Fuel Vehicles. E85 contains more ethanol (51%-83%) and is not compatible with all vehicles. It is designed specifically for "flexible fuel vehicles."
Sheetz is based in Altoona, Pennsylvania, and operates over 640 store locations throughout Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Ohio and North Carolina.
A recent NACS survey revealed that high gas prices are taking their toll on sales at convenience stores, with 59% of retailers saying customer traffic has decreased in stores during the past three months. Nearly half of all retailers (49%) also say that those customers coming inside the store are buying less compared to three months ago when gas prices were $1.50 per gallon lower.
In addition, retailers expressed concerns that elevated gas prices could also depress sales over the traditionally busy summer-drive season: 53% say they expect sales to be lower this summer than last summer, with only 25% anticipating increased sales.
The Convenience Matters podcast episode “What’s the Tipping Point for Gas Prices?” explores how much pain at the pump consumers will tolerate.
Also, NACS shares what consumers should know when gas prices soar.