BP Stations Asking for Help, Too
BP has done little to repair its reputation since the tragic
accident on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig left 11 crew members dead and created
an ecological and economic disaster in the Gulf Coast. Among the innocent parties
affected by the disaster have been the thousands of independently-owned gas
stations that sell fuel under Amoco, ARCO and BP banners.
Americans across the
country have stopped buying gas at the stations as they shun anything BP-related.
Some station owners report sales declines up to 40 percent in recent weeks
and they want BP to do something about it.
According to an Associated Press report,
a group of gas distributors and station owners told BP that they want the
company to reduce the cost of gasoline and kick-in funds to help pay for an
ad campaign to help bring motorists back.
"They have got to be more competitive on their fuel costs to the retailers
so we can be competitive on the street … and bring back customers that we’ve
lost," Bob Juckniess, an owner of 10 BP stations in the Chicago area,
told the AP.
"We’re their branded marketers," Mr. Juckniess said. "It would
be foolish for BP to not support its branded marketers when clearly we can
document that some of the loss that we’ve experienced is due to the incidents
in the Gulf."
For its part, BP maintains it understands the issues faced
by franchisees. "BP
is in daily contact with its independent distributors and franchisees and helping
them manage the impacts the oil spill is having on their businesses," said
Scott Dean, a spokesperson for BP.
Jim Smith, president and CEO of the Florida
Petroleum Marketers & Convenience
Store Association, said BP has given some stations in that state a discount
of a penny a gallon, which, he said, "Doesn’t amount to much."
Discussion Questions: What should BP be doing to help its franchisees in
light of the negative publicity surrounding the company? What should the
franchisees be doing for themselves?
- As drivers shun BP gas, station owners want full service from BP to help get
business back – The Associated Press/Minneapolis Star Tribune