Crawfordsville gas prices dip, hurt local business

CRAWFORDSVILLE, Ind. (WLFI) – Gas prices in Crawfordsville are some of the lowest in the state, but that’s not necessarily a good thing for one business owner.

“I think the gas prices are great,” driver Brian Parker said.

Filling up got a whole lot cheaper in Crawfordsville.

“I’m saving almost half because I was paying upwards of $4 a gallon,” Parker said.

Monday morning gas prices were about 40 cents a gallon less than the state average. Some places were even selling gas for $1.42 a gallon.

“I absolutely love them because about $20 will fill this up,” driver Jody Lejeune said.

Driver John Hendrick said, “It’s dropped a little over half of what it was probably two months ago, so it’s a pretty good deal I guess for a little while.”

That’s good news for drivers, but not for Sunoco gas station owner Trish Schwabe.

“For the past two weeks, gas prices in Crawfordsville have been extremely low,” Schwabe said. “And for us, we’ve been selling gas at a loss for two weeks straight.”

This is Schwabe’s only store. She said when she sells gas for $1.52 a gallon that equals a 30 cents per gallon loss to her bottom line.

“When we’re selling the gas at a loss at the pump,” Schwabe said. “If you don’t come inside and buy something then we didn’t make anything. It actually cost us money. We paid for part of your gas.”

In order to make money when gas prices take a dip, Schwabe said she relies on people buying stuff from inside the store.

“If someone is buying the gas at a 30 cent per gallon loss, and they have a 10-gallon tank, and I’ve sold the gas at a loss for $3 – in order for me to recoup that $3 that I have to turn over to our brand, they have to come inside and buy about $9 worth of merchandise and most people will not do that,” Schwabe said.

She said she doesn’t know why prices fluctuate so much, but when they do everyone follows. Schwabe said she lowers her prices with everyone else does to keep drivers coming to fill up.

“I think that maybe one station says I’m not getting enough market share here and I’m going to drop my price a little bit, then the next station follows and the next station follows,” Schwabe said.

By 1:45 p.m. Monday, all five stations around Schwabe’s raised prices to $1.75 a gallon.


Colder and quiet rest of the week

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – A good 20° swing Wednesday morning with temperatures in the lower to mid 20s this morning with feel-like temperatures in the teens. it will be a clear start then brighter heading through the rest of the morning and the afternoon! Sunshine won’t help us out too much in terms of temperatures today. Daytime highs should warm to the upper 30s. Wednesday night will be a cold one with lows in the lower 20s with a partly cloudy sky.

Thursday will be another cold one with highs struggling to reach 30°. It’ll still be a bright one with a mostly to partly sunny sky. A slow warming trend will start Friday with highs warming to the upper 30s with a mixture of sun and clouds.

This weekend will be split with a chance of showers arriving late in the day Sunday. Highs will continue to warm to the mid-40s Saturday with a partly sunny sky. Clouds return Sunday with showers later in the evening and overnight. Rain will continue through Monday. Tuesday looks to be a dry day for now then showers should return by midweek with highs in the mid 40s.