High gasoline prices revisited

This past week gasoline could be purchased on Highway 49 south of Jackson for $2.53/gal., while in Vicksburg the price was $2.78 at the cheapest service stations The price in Clinton is almost always 8 to 15 cents cheaper than in Vicksburg. No valid reason for the higher prices in Vicksburg has ever been offered. So why is it? And what can we do about it? Why hasn’t the Post done an investigation? Who determines the prices anyway? Your thoughts and suggestions are sought.

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Published in: on October 7, 2007 at 8:16 pm  Comments (58)  

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  1. One reason I heard is the fact that editor Charlie Mitchell has a conflict of interest with the Waring clan. That he didn’t want to rock the boat. Also locals are still going to Hinds County for cheaper gas. Here’s another fact: tourism was down all summer do to the fact of high gas prices. Also the Warings have been quiet on the high gas issue. But the Warings sold thier gas stations to Pantry Inc and Pantry depends on gas prices being above 2.00. Now this port never went below 2.00 when the barrel price drop last fall. There is still a resentful anger in the community. Now how many local restraunts have suffered to narrowed mind greed. Oh,one more thing Walmart bought the property from the Warings which stipulated the fact that they can’t build gas pumps. They told the same to Kroger as well. Now guess who is Walmart’s competitor? Pantry is.
    I believe the Clarion ledger and KNOE ch. 8,WJTV and others should come to this port and give the public here a much more objective report and Charile Mitchell should be questioned on his conflict of issues relationships with the Warings.

  2. Chuck, I hope you aren’t saying that when the new Kroger store opens here, that they won’t have gas pumps. I have been looking forward to the day we can buy gas in Vicksburg at prices equal to Clinton.

  3. It is true Pantry bought the Waring stations but the Warings retained the gas distributorship. I assume Pantry is buying their gas and diesel from the Warings. Is that true? Does anyone know?

  4. I think, Linda, that you’ve hit on a big part of the problem with getting to the basics… Who owns what and who sets what prices? It seems to me that an investigator could start at one of the local service stations with the question “Who calls you and tells you what price to charge per gallon,” then proceed up the ladder with the same question until he gets to the decision maker. Now, wouldn’t that be interesting to know?

  5. Don’t worry Kroger is going through with thier gas pumps. I spoke with the manager of the store who lives in Jackson and he told me.
    As for disturbisting gas more questions should be raise. And I believe the locals should raise question on why the Super Wal-mart was prohibited to have gas pumps. Now the Waring/Panty angle was never pursued but in a Google search I did I found that Waring sold his stores for ten million. And this sale was approved by the Federal Trade Commission. But I can tell you Kroger is going through with thier gas pumps.
    By the way the Super Wal-Mart on Raymond Road in Madison gas went for 2.49. One story I heard last year at the office and someone approached a new buyer gas station and said this in a public restraunt: “I set the gas prices in Vicksburg.” I would love to see this person videotape.

  6. My wife got gas for $2.45 at Kroger in Florence this morning with her 3-cent Kroger discount.

  7. Here’s another fact from last year. Mayor Laurence Leyens didn’t comment at all about high gas prices. But at least Carl Flanders try to have a townhall meeting to get the root of the problem. Of course his fellow supes shot down the idea. Now in last year’s Post David McDonald, one of the supes,who happen to be in Houston,Texas at the time; commented that high gas prices “aren’t so unigue.” But where he was at the time gas prices dropped below 2.00. In fact at the time last year this port gas prices were on par with the national average. There were areas here in the Southeast that were cheaper than Vicksburg. Montgomery,Ala is one of them.

  8. Here’s another tale I heard involving Waring,Kroger and Super Walmart. I hear this last year. One of the stories I heard is that if Kroger and Super Walmart put in gas pumps; Waring Oil wouldn’t service them with gas. Now is that being unfair in the marketplace to make such a threat.
    Now Waring claims they’re not involved in the gas price game. But I can tell you there a lot of people I spoke with who are skeptical.
    Several months ago,the CEO of Olive Garden Restaunts and Wendy International made public that High Gas prices have effected thier businesses. Now the same thing has happen with the some of the local restraunts: At McAlister’s business has dropped off significantly due to gas prices. U see gas prices ripple through the economy. Now why hasn’t the Post looked into this one eh?

  9. One thing I have noticed is when the gas prices do go down, the grocery prices which went up supposedly due to the gas prices being raised, do NOT go back down. Go figure.

  10. What I’ve learned about grocery and food prices,transportations costs makes the price go up. Now last year when the Krystal closed it made me wonder if the high costs of gas forced it to closed. The same circumstances happen to the Corn Dog 7 at the mall. The high cost of gas and rent forced it to closed.
    Here’s another interesting thing about Waring Oil; they tax those who do business with them.

  11. I had to drive to south Mississippi on a business trip yesterday. I found gas prices from $2.48 and up, but the highest prices of all were in – you guessed it – Vicksburg!

  12. Though transportation costs probably entered into it, I think the Krystal probably closed because it was unfortunately located (by the original owner, not the subsequent ones) next door to McDonald’s. However, transportation costs are much more important to our lives than I ever realized until I read the book “Hydrogen Economy”. It was an eye-opener for me. Years ago, when I was involved in commercial development in Vicksburg, a Krystal was planned near Taco Bell. Everything was on go until the required traffic counts were done, and then it was turned down due to low numbers. I am so glad to hear someone’s explanation of what happened with Red Lobster here. Thanks for the info.

  13. Here’s another fact I’ve learned on my own. U know that Waring Oil LLC doesn’t have a corporate website? One would assume that a succesful commpany would have adapted to the internet age to attract more investors. Well for some of the locals some view as suspious.
    Now another story I heard about Waring is this: one of the competitors out of Clinton wanted to open another gas station here. Waring chased them off by using bulling tactics to against the competitor. I tell you what gas prices to set. In my opinion this bad business.
    Now that potential competitor is doing much better in the Central part of the state. Now what right does a jobber have set high prices here? Also Waring owns some business on the Gulf Coast too. Just speculating that the jobber may be playing pricing games too. I can tell u one at lunch on Clay Street toward Jackson both the Texaco and Pantry were deserted of business. Also high gas prices create crime for lower incomers they start to rip off the pump without paying. I think its time that the local Jobber give a much better explaination not just to the locals but to tourists; but thier role in the gas price game. Becouse trying to pass off local gas stations as competitons doesn’t jive and the consumer is much smarter than one thinks. U know that high gas prices have affected retail shopping as well? I found the traffic count interesting on Krystal by the way.

  14. As readers know, the setting of prices is complex. I have talked with several distributors and they have shared believable variables. While agreeable to speak with me privately they have little interest to take part in a fuel price summit.
    I will say this: Vehicle fuel is a sellers market. If you save by buying out of town it is only when you just happen to be there anyway. Vicksburg prices are higher, no doubt. Until local distributors get in line the only thing we can do (which is very little) is buy when we happen to be out of town.
    Sincerely,
    Carl Flanders

  15. carl I can tell you that this town’s gas prices are at national average levels. The prices should reflect the southeast average not rogue pricing. Already this has generated a price gouge perception with the community. What I didn’t like that some in community went against your price gas summit to set the record straight. U should go on the record with some stations in Jackson and Monroe. U have the power to embarrass some people,Pantry included. Already money is leaving the community and the local leaders are freaking out about it.

  16. PRICE FIXING AND THAT IS WHAT THIS IS……IS AGANIST THE LAW…..WE NEED TO PUSH THIS AND ASK FOR ENFORCEMENT OF THE LAW….USE OF NATIONAL T.V. STATIONS TO EMBARASS AND EXPOSE THE PEOPLE WHO MANIPULATE THIS MARKET AND ASK FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT TO DO THEIR JOB…..I AM SERIOUSLY THINKING OF MOVING OUT OF THIS TOWN BECAUSE OF THIS PRACTICE…I DON’T BUY GAS HERE IF AT ALL POSSIBLE AND PLAN MY TRIPS TO CLINTON WHEN MY GAS TANK GETS LOW….I WOULD SUGGEST ALL OTHERS DO THE SAME…WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

  17. THIS OUT AND OUT PRICE FIXING…..PRICE FIXING IS AGAINST THE LAW AND I SUGGEST WE PUBLICLY EXPOSE THIS PRACTICE HERE AND EMBARASS AND FORCE LAW ENFORCEMENT TO DO THEIR DUTY….ALSO, I DO NOT PURCHASE ANY GAS IN VICKSBURG IS POSSIBLE. I WAIT TO MY TANK IS GETTING LOW AND PLAN A “SHOPPING TRIP” TO CLINTON TO FILL MY TANK, GET GROCERIES, ETC. …..IF WE ALL DID THIS THESE PEOPLE WHO ARE THIEFS WOULD HAVE TO RE-CONSIDER THIS UNFAIR PRACTICE AND THOSE WHO PROTECT THEM WOULD ALSO BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE….

  18. Marge I can tell you–you’re not alone people have already doing this. Second we need to the door open so Walmart can have gas pumps in. Listen the more the price goes up here–the more retail and restraunts are going to be affected. U know the local leaders are scratching their heads why money is leaving here in droves? Also I disagree that pricing of gas complex. In fact something called vertical pricing is involved. That needs to be explore. Nationally secret business deals need to be expose and where’s the state attorney general? By the Pantry in Clinton is cheaper than one the here.

  19. It is all about supply and demand. When we do get a group like Kroger in here and they are willing to narrow their margin on gas to get us in to buy groceries then the other providers will have to respond accordingly. Better yet, if we can get a big truck stop in here then they will do the same – problem is we are way to close to the state border for that.

  20. By the way the Kroger in Clinton has picked up a lot of local business from here. I talk to some of my friends and they do that alot. Plus I can tell you that Waring Oil told Kroger they couldn’t put in gas pumps along with Super Walmart. They went to say they wouldn’t surface them locally with gas if they did this. The Waring turns around sales his convient stores to Pantry Inc of North Carolina. I learned that waring made over ten million dollars from these stores from these convient stores prior to be sold. I expect now that Pantry has raised the price to 2.88 more and more tourists aren’t going to buying there gas here on the road. All travelers have to do spread the word. During the summer this town’s tourism numbers were down,even the restraunts here took a hit; when sprice spikes up it affects consumer spending. Consumer cut back in the spring and summer.

  21. I see the price of oil has reached an all time high. I guess we will get it socked to us here in Vicksburg, except once again we will pay more than our friends in Clinton and Jackson will have to pay.

    I don’t make special trips to buy the gas, but you can bet when I do go, I fill up. I’m not giving an extra dime to these greedy people that I don’t have to.

    What goes around comes around and payback is Hell.

  22. I made a remarkable discovery from a Google search I did with Pantry Inc which owns Zips and Kangeroos. They’re having finacially issues. First it appears thier winter quarter is going report weak earning. Also their own people predicted a drop in thier revenue gas prices from 11.25 down ten dollars.
    Now thier stock is taking hit as well. It has dropped to to 25.00 a share.
    My theory on the gas drop within the Pantry Corporations of Sanford North Carolina is this. Consumers are moving toward more areas where the gas is cheaper. Pantry depends on high barrel price of oil and gas prices to generate revenue. Two other watch words leaped out: Cost cutting and reorginazation. I learned all of this in a Google news search. Just thought I pass on this fyi.

  23. My wife got gas in Clinton today for $2.56; it’s over $2.80 here in Vicksburg. We are getting SCREWED! The only thing that will change things is a bunch of folks carrying signs and parading around the service stations. Would anyone like to get it organized???

  24. Malcom I believe high gas prices here made tourism drop significantly. Why travelers aren’t stupid and I believe the word is spread; also local restraunts have lost business becouse of it.
    I learned some more on Pantry Inc which owns Kangeroos and Kangeroos Express they have been losing business all year now. And they’re executives are seeing the fact that thier own gasoline price margins have affected thier profits and dividends. Interesting eh?

  25. I was pumping gas at Kangaroo recently & a man pulled up to get gas. He & I were chatting & once he saw the price of our gas, he said he was going on down the road, he wasn’t paying that price. He was traveling & he said he knew he could get it cheaper than this somewhere else, so he left. I believe if everyone would stick together & stop buying their gas here, the Warings would HAVE to lower their gas prices. We went to Clinton yesterday & paid $2.42 at Kroger with our Kroger 1-2-3 Mastercard, which you get 15 cents off per gallon once you have $100 in Kroger points. You use it just like you use your Kroger card to accumulate points. Even at their regular price of $2.57, its still cheaper than our $2.85.

  26. Listen I heard the price of gasoline is going to higher. Let me tell you word has already spread about this place’s high gas prices already by those who travel on the road. And over the Pantry Inc which Waring sold his stores too has been constiantly losing money becouse of their gas margins. Now Waring has told Kroger that they can’t put in gas pumps. They did the same with Walmart. Now the past is catching up.
    I heard an interesting this about oil prices that there could be in a bubble like real estate. Now if this is true sooner or later the bubble is going to burst. I wouldn’t be surprise if Pantry is rexamining their weak markets where there isn’t no competition and see mony losses. Also Warings should be force to make a public statement about Super Walmart too.

  27. How can Waring LEGALLY keep Kroger & Walmart from getting gas pumps if they want them? There’s other people besides Waring that sells gas, isn’t there?

  28. I didn’t make that clear. I mean, that Kroger & Walmart could get their gas from besides Waring.

  29. Yes, they can. Kroger is putting in thier own gas pumps with the new store. In fact the new pumps will go in first. When I first heard this story about this jobber telling both they can’t do this,it just typical selfishness. Then Waring sells his stores to Pantry inc a few years ago.Prior to that sale over ten million dollars was made with these local stores.
    Here’s another good news:Waring Lease the property where Walmart is. Which means they can opt out whenever they want too. And Super Walmart does have thier own jobber too. Now there’s another player who wants to get in the vehicle gas selling business: Home Depot. They’re beta testing pumps in Tennessee right now.

  30. Great!! Well, we’re going to be getting our gas in Clinton, not here. It is ridiculous to pay the high price here from these thieves.

  31. I encourgae everyone to go to Clinton and get thier gas. Take away as much business from here as possiple.

  32. I heard recently that the Warings charge so much for their gas as if they get it from Collins, MS. That is stealing from the public!! It don’t even make sense.

  33. Now would be a good time to try to get the next attorney general to commit to investigating Vicksburg’s high prices. The candidates are… Jim Hood, the incumbent, at email address msag05@ago.state.ms.us, and Al Hopkins, Hood’s opposition – contact at
    http://www.alforag.com/contact/. I’ve sent my emails, as follows:
    Mr. ……., Vicksburg’s service stations charge the highest prices for gasoline of any location in this state. The citizens of Vicksburg are outraged about it, but have been unable to force the station operators to sell gasoline at a more reasonable price. If (re)elected, would you commit to doing something about the situation? Thanks, Malcolm Allred.

  34. Hey Malcom Pantry Inc should be dragged into the investigation and to Hood’s opposition on this issue does this port get turned the blind eye all the time?

  35. Remember when Sak&Save put in their pumps, Chuck? They lowered the price of gasoline all over town. Hopefully, Kroger/Wal-mart will have the same effect. In the meantime, let the attorney general candidates know how you feel. But as I’ve said before, the only sure thing that will get real results is a bunch of people parading with signs.

  36. Don’t worry I already have. I do remember what Sak&Save did. I heard that once Kroger get thier pumps in they going make gas prices really cheap. And I learned at the office that oil coming from a barge is pennies cheaper than truck transportation. Now why is Waring trucking his gas here from Collins? And how much is the company charging? Also is Pantry/Kangeroos around here getting a discount?
    What has been interesting about Pantry they’re in some sort trouble. For once their own gas price margins have hurt them. All year they’ve been losing mony and thier earinings aren’t going to be that strong. What I saw on a website they’re going to be force to drop thier gas 11.25 down to ten dollars. I’m thinking they maybe force to drop further becouse of subprime issues as well.For now I expect them to raise gas prices in response to the sweet crude price on the NYMEX market. And I expect to loose customers becouse they’re shifting to markets where gas is cheaper.

  37. No, Waring is NOT trucking it from Collins. He’s charging AS IF he was.

  38. Here’s an update on Waring’s local Partner Pantry Inc who owns all the Kangeroos and Zips around here; the CEO announced in Charlotte newspaper and several websites that the company is going to have to do layoofs. The layoffs are due to finiancial pressues of their gasoline margins settings. Another fact they’ll want be able to another aqusisiton becouse of the pressures. Pantry has been losing money all year it seems.

  39. On my way home on 10/25 from the north Delta area, I stopped in Cleveland, MS and filled up with gas at $2.539. Coming through Boyle, the price was the same. I got to Vicksburg about 2 hours later to see stations displaying $2.889. That’s 35 cents per gallon, and they do not ship to the Delta by barge. It must be trucked. Boyle only has one station, so it can’t be competition.

  40. I’ve been hearing a lot about the gas prices being cheaper across the state. By the way those prices reflect those of the Southeastern average. Yet this port prices on the Northeast average. I bet everyday now those stations here in Vicksburg are losing money bigtime.
    Now if Sweet Crude oil hits a $100 a barrel it will trigger a recession. Now what will the local jobber due if his own hometown is forced to shutdown due to thier own greed. I wouldn’t be surprised if high gas prices have become a crux now for any industry or business that wants to come in and do business and provide jobs.

  41. I spoke with the Attorney General’s office a few months ago about the high gas prices. The gentleman I spoke with said he has brought it up several times and has been told as long as there is no proof of price fixing they can not make a move on the Warings. It’s a shame no one will come forward with that information.

  42. All it takes is a disgruntled employee to talk and tell on Waring. There are lot of them.

  43. Well, neither Hood nor Hopkins answered my emails about investigating high gas prices in Vicksburg. Guess neither one of the misfits cares. So I’ll not vote for either one of the demagogues; screw ’em.

  44. I saw a letter to the editor yesterday where the lady says it is definitely worth driving to Clinton for her gas. I say we all start driving to Clinton for our gas & that should show them we mean business. If enough people would stop buying it here, they’d have to lower it, wouldn’t they?

  45. I believe they will. Make the Kangeroos loose business. Spread the word too tourist in town that Clinton has cheaper prices over Vicksburg. Listen tell anyone out of town and I guarantee they’ll spread it.

  46. I think the money-hungry Warings should be put UNDER the jail. I mean, don’t they have enough already?? Do they really need to set prices here to further cushion their pocketbooks? I’m calling the Feds.

  47. U go for it!! hey call in the national news media on this port too and see what happen. One thing that has been interesting about the Warings they have been real quiet.

  48. Pantry Inc. which owns the Kangeroos around time has hit on real hard times. Their CEO has anoounced over a week ago that there will be layoffs due to weak profits. Kramer on CNBC had said via one of his fans on Yahoo finance that its stock was big.Well Kramer was wrong on this one.

  49. I was reading in the Clarion Ledger this morning that high gas prices are now cutting into Thanksgiving travel. One travelor stated she may not be going to th coast. But get this in Jackson the gas prices are still ten cents cheaper. Where here it’s hovering close to three dollars.

  50. I am going to write a letter to the Vicksburg Post and see if they want to do an article on this issue. I don’t expect to see anything but I wonder what their response is going to be.

  51. Do it, boredstiff! Like you, I don’t expect much, so let us know what comes of your letter.

  52. Yea, if enough people would stick together, write letters to the editor, stop buying the gas here, maybe something would happen.

  53. Last night I found out more about Pantry Inc layoffs. According one coveniet store newsletters and a Reilgh newspaper article dated Nov 13, the Pantry Inc has sent notices to thier to regional managers and vice presidents about the layoffs. Now the layoffs aren’t going to affect the Sanford NC hq,the layoffs are going to occur outside of North Carolina. At the sametime I came across something of intrest about the Kangeroo stores too. They’re understaffed and the main complaints have been against the stores have been dirty. Their stock has taken a real pounding thie year. On top of losing money and dividends as well.

  54. Yea, their stores are dirty & especially their bathrooms.

  55. Not only that I heard from a source of mind at the office,that an entire of staff at a Kangeroo along Clay street was fired. Get this the employees are stealing from the companie. So it makes me wonder if Pantry could close thier Kangeroos here becouse of a weak market but to get the criminal riff raff off thier backs here.

  56. Things are becoming interesting around the leased gas stations. First in Detroit,Michigan two gasoline owners shot it out over gas prices. But the two had a long standing feud; now CEOS of Oil companies are getting death threats.
    Now the real question could violence of this nature happen here? I haven’t ruled it out. Remember the Warings aren’t immune to the anger of thier own community either. Made me wonder if they’ve been getting death threats as well.

  57. Yea, I believe you about the stealing from the companies. There’s so much that don’t even get into the newspaper.

  58. I expect now with gas at three dollars this port is going to loose business. No jive. Expect restraunts to be hit becouse of the high prices etc. One more thing I expect Pantry Inc to be the real looser here in this market.


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