Competition keeps Baltimore County gas stations nimble | Baltimore Sun

When it comes to filling up his GMC SUV, every penny counts for Frank Beales, a retired corrections officer from Violetville. He stopped at the U.S. Gas in Halethorpe earlier this month after seeing the street sign advertising $2.19 for a gallon of regular.

“It’s the price,” said Beales, 66. “I’m sure I’m not the only one who does that.”

The fuel industry is unique in that the prices of its products are posted on the street, allowing customers to make a buying decision before they enter a station’s parking lot, said Kirk McCauley, director of member relations and government affairs for Washington, Maryland, Delaware Service Station and Automotive Repair Association, an industry trade group.

“The state of the industry right now is price rules the street,” he said. “It naturally keeps the profits low at each station, especially in the Baltimore and Baltimore County area.”

With razor-thin profit margins and intense competition, service stations have to do more than selling fuel.

Read complete article here:

Competition keeps Baltimore County gas stations nimble – Baltimore Sun.