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    Pressures at the Pump

    Fuel prices stabilized last year, but gallons sold still declined

    FIG. 15

    Motor fuel sales per store suffered a 3.8-percent decline to $4.11 million in 2013. This decrease was much larger than the 0.1-percent drop seen when comparing 2012 to 2011.

    Gallons sold per store were also lower on a year-over-year basis as consumers continue to switch to more fuel-efficient vehicles and drive less. The average convenience store sold 1.15 million gallons of fuels last year, a 1.1-percent decline.

    On a positive note, c-stores squeezed out better margins per gallon of fuel sold. Last year, gross margins reached 18.91 cents per gallon, a healthy 1-percent improvement year over year.

    Consumers can also take solace in the fact that motor fuel prices continued to stabilize last year, dropping 2.7 percent to a $3.55 nationwide average per regular gallon of fuel.

    As is often the case, the West Coast had the highest prices at the pump in 2013, with the Gulf Coast offering the lowest prices. The average price of a gallon never topped $4.50 at any point last year, while the lowest price of just under $3 per gallon was seen in the Rocky Mountain region for a brief time in January.

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