Gas Station Sued Over Cheap Prices
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY…
1765: Stamp Act passed; 1st direct British tax on American colonists, organized by Prime Minister George Grenville.
As Americans endure record-breaking prices at the pump, one station decided to keep their prices low. Now they’re facing lawsuits from competitors.
The plaintiffs, companies that operate nearby Shell and BP stations, are suing Woodman’s Market in Waukesha, Wisconsin, arguing that it’s selling gas below cost.
The competitors say Woodman’s low prices violate Wisconsin’s Unfair Sales Act, which prohibits selling goods below cost. Both plaintiffs seek roughly $80,000 in restitution, based on the number of days Woodman’s outpriced them.
On 3/19, AAA data showed that the average price of gas in Wisconsin was roughly $3.93. Woodman’s offered gas at $3.59 per gallon, while Waukesha BP and Shell locations listed prices of $3.89-3.99 per gallon.
Woodman’s has defended its prices. The stations claims it sets its prices to compete with its primary competitor, Costco, about six miles away in Pewaukee. GasBuddy listings showed that Costco offered gas at $3.49 per gallon.
Woodman’s has filed a counter-suit, seeking dismissal of the case.
“Woodman’s in in full compliance with its Waukesha store gas pricing and believes this lawsuit is without merit,” the company said in a statement to local ABC affiliate WISN.
“As such we have asked the court do dismiss this action.”
I BELIEVE we still have free enterprise. If Woodman’s wants to lower it’s price to compete with Costco (even if making little or no profit, that’s their choice. Don’t sue them for exercising their right in a “free” society. I praise them for competing with the lowest price in the area, not price gouging with the highest price.
Agree totally. If BP and She’ll want to compete, then they need to lower their prices instead of price gouging the consumer.
Boycott the shell and BP stations until they withdraw their lawsuits.
Stores have used “loss leaders” to attract customers since the dawn of retailing. Offering a product for a super cheap price gets the potential customer in the door…with hopes that they will find something else to purchase – at regular prices. If cheap gas is Woodman’s advertising strategy to get grocery buyers in the door, why wouldn’t that be ok?
“Free Enterprise”.. unless some corporate foolio says otherwise.
The Unfair Sales Act is in most states. It was enacted to keep the Big Boys, BP and Shell, from selling gas (for example) below cost to drive the independent stores out of business. The Big Boys have lots of money and can sell at losses for whatever time it takes to put mom and pop stores out. Free Enterprise is all good and wonderful, until the greedy start to take control. As long as Woodman’s is selling at cost or above, there is no problem.