The price of oil has hit a record high and that’s driven gas prices above three-dollars a gallon in Iowa. Dawn Carlson, president of the Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Stores of Iowa, says there hasn’t been a lot of negative feedback.
Carlson says they aren’t getting a lot of complaints, and she says retailers hate to see the cost of gas go up as much as consumers do, as she says that drives up their operating costs. Carlson urges Iowans to take whatever steps they can to conserve fuel, by practicing proper maintenance of their vehicles. While the price of gas can jump up 10 cents in a day, Carlson says retailers aren’t pocketing all of the increase.
"Retailers, believe it or not, do not make their money on gasoline sales," Carlson says, "we are extremely competitive in the state of Iowa, and have thousands of independent competing for the business of every customer, and so gas margins in Iowa are among the lowest in the country. So we might be fortunate to make one or two cents a gallon — that’s gross margin." Carlson says the retailers make their money from the pop and chips that customers buy in the store after filling up.
Carlson says even though the price of gas continues to go up, people aren’t changing their habits."Demand is still very strong, and national studies over the last six months or so have shown us that we haven’t hit that price point where demand starts cutting back," Carlson says. The price of oil has gone over 100 dollars a barrel and some analysts say that it could stay up or go higher as there continues to be increased demand from countries like China.