Station Owners Want Help, Price Cut From BP
Hit by boycott, business down 10% to 40%
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 28, 2010 9:03 AM CDT
FILE - In this June 8, 2010 file photo, Elaine Jesmer of Los Angeles holds a sign during a protest against BP PLC organized by outside an ARCO gas station in Los Angeles.    (Chris Pizzello)
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(Newser) – Tension is mounting between BP and the neighborhood retailers that man the gas pumps. As more Americans shun BP gasoline as a form of protest over the Gulf oil spill, station owners from Georgia to Illinois say sales have declined 10% to 40%. They want BP do more to explain to motorists that it's not the British oil giant the boycott is hurting, it's them. And to win back customers, they want the company to cut prices.

Most of the 11,000 stations across the US that sell BP fuel under the BP, Amoco, and ARCO banners are owned by local businessmen whose primary connection to the oil company is the logo and a contract to buy gasoline. Station owners and BP gas distributors told BP officials last week they need a break on the cost of the gas they buy, and they want help paying for more advertising aimed at motorists. Owners and distributors aired their demands at a meeting in Chicago with BP marketing officials last week, and are expecting a reply as early as this week.