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Gas War: Station Sets Price at 49 Cents

July 28, 2006

CLOVIS, N.M. (AP) _ A price war between two Clovis gasoline stations reached a fever pitch when one store dropped its fuel price to 49 cents per gallon.

The price war between Town and Country and Allsup’s convenience stores snarled traffic in the eastern New Mexico town as about 200 vehicles lined up Wednesday to buy cheap gas, blocking the stores and a local fire station, Clovis Fire Marshal Allan Silvers said.

Silvers said he put an end to the battle because the traffic was a public safety hazard. He asked the stores ``if there was anything they could do reasonably to remedy the situation.″

Allsup’s raised its fuel price from 49 cents to $2.83 a gallon and Town and Country raised its 99 cents per gallon price tag to $2.86, Silvers said.

``They raised prices on their own accord to dispel the traffic and after that was done, as you can imagine, people lost interest,″ Silvers said.

On Tuesday, the stores were selling below wholesale costs.

Dan McCurdy, a spokesman for Town and Country Food Stores, told The Clovis News-Journal on Tuesday that the competition has been going for several weeks. He said the Allsup’s store has dropped its price per gallon to remain an average of 3 cents lower than Town and Country.

``In very simple terms, we’re staying competitive with our competitors. We’re not going to lose our customers because they’re offering a lower price,″ McCurdy said.

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