Will Gas Prices Rise in Lawton Now That Love’s Bought EZGO?
If you're out of the loop, here's a quick recap...
A rumor spread quickly online about Oklahoma-based Love's (gas stations) plan to buy the Lawton-based EZGO chain of gas stations. Within 24 hours this rumor was confirmed by the owner... savvy?
The moment this news dropped in Lawton people started talking about Love's traditionally higher gas prices... but does it mean Lawtonians will suddenly feel a pinch at the pump?
It's not exactly a secret that Love's Travel Stops and Country Stores across the nation typically have higher fuel prices, but it's more due to their locations.
Think about it. Most Love's stores are along the nation's highways out in the middle of nowhere. You almost exclusively see them on the road in-between destinations. Since fuel prices are a balancing act between cost vs competition, if there's no competition on I-35North at mile marker 68, that product can be sold for a premium.
Case and point... At the time I'm writing this, a gallon of ethanol gas at the 52nd & Rogers Lane EZGO is $2.79. That's right in line with the cost-per-gallon price across all gas stations in Lawton at the moment. but if you look at the price of that same gallon of ethanol gas at the EZGO on I-44 between Chickasha and OKC, it's $2.93 even though the transport cost to deliver fuel there is likely cheaper being less than half the distance to the supplier than Lawton is.
Limit supply, raise demand.
Even though Love's very rarely has more than one Travel Center or Country Store in any given zip code, there are exceptions. Marlow and Woodward have two each. Maybe Love's is expanding how they do business, but testing out a business model that's new to them here in Oklahoma.
It's the current trend.
While I wouldn't assume that'd you'd just know this off the top of your head, being such a niche subject, but gas station and convenience store brands have been merging and expanding rapidly in the last decade.
Newcomer brands like Casey's and Hutch's have been aggressively growing into Oklahoma in recent years. Allsups just built six new locations in our state, including the two new stores that just opened in Altus. Oncue continues to expand beyond OKC. 7-11 just bought the Chisholm Corner stores across SWOK... Gas stations are consolidating and growing just like car washes.
Love's may be buying EZGO but that doesn't mean Love's will move into Lawton with higher gas prices. Odds are they'll remain branded as EZGO and they'll be forced to price-compete with every other gas station in town.