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    Business as Usual for The Pantry

    Gas prices "will continue to be competitively priced," company pledges.

    The Pantry, Inc., which owns and operates 1,327 convenience stores in 10 Southeastern states, has pledged to aggressively control retail gasoline prices in the aftermath of Tuesday's attacks in New York and Washington.

    "We will continue to be competitively priced. However, our prices may increase where costs from gasoline distributors compel us to raise them or where we are priced below state minimum retail, a practice prohibited by many states' laws," said Peter Sodini, president and CEO of The Pantry.

    Citing reports of significant gasoline price fluctuations in some parts of the United States, Sodini added, "The Pantry has no intention of taking advantage of this situation. By charging fair market prices for gasoline, we are committed both to our customers and to our shareholders."

    Sodini pointed out that all Pantry stores are owned and operated directly by his company. There are no independent operators or franchisees, allowing The Pantry to control all pricing decisions centrally.

    Several elements are affecting prices at the gas pump, Sodini said. They include:
    * Intermittent supply interruptions at various fuel terminals.
    * Gasoline allocations by many suppliers with attendant surcharges.
    * An unwarranted run on gasoline by motorists which will result in an artificial spike in demand.

    "We are also working closely with all of our suppliers and fuel haulers to help ensure ample gasoline supply for our customers and under no circumstances will The Pantry tolerate any form of price gouging on the part of any of our employees," Sodini said.

    The company's brands include Handy Way, Lil Champ, Quick Stop, Zip Mart, Fast Lane, Kangaroo, Depot and Big K.

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