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I understand what you are saying olebaldy. However, it is the Wholesaler who sells to McNeil and other distributors. It is the Wholesaler who is charging zone pricing to the Distributor and the Distributor passes the cost, along with his markup, on at the pump. Not defending McNeil here, but when you say they collect double profit, they have to - they transport and retail. Other retailers are paying for delivery that McNeil pays itself - that's only fair.
Outlets such as Kangaroo (Pantry) purchase at such large volumes, the Wholesaler gives them better pricing. Nevertheless, their retailing still parallels the zone principle (Check Kangaroos in Vass and Southern Pines, both in Moore County) in order to hit an overall target price.
I have never done business with the McNeils, but I have purchased gas from Raymer Oil in Statesville, Holt Oil in Goldsboro and Swink Oil in Rockingham, all on the same day - their wholesale costs were never the same, but the order from least to most expensive seldom changed.
I formally owned several C-Stores that carried both branded and unbranded gas. On average, we our markup was about 4 cents per gallon above the Distributor's price. After credit card fees and electricity for the lights and pumps, we hoped to break even. We only sold gas to generate in-store sales.
Distributor prices within an area vary due to zoning designed to deliver a "targeted" average price. Moore County is in the upper echelon of that price structure. If you check the state's numbers for average per capita wealth, you will see why.
In the grand scheme of things, the Distributors don't knock it out of the park - it's the oil company that makes the money.
The influx of population and the associated traffic it brings has already altered the charm of the community. Assuming the project is supported, and I believe that to be a serious stretch, a 2200-seat arts center is going to put about 1000 additional cars into the mix several times a month at approximately the same time. It's difficult to imagine that traffic on Hwys 2 and 5, trying to get into Pinehurst, is going to be something that residents and resort visitors are going to appreciate. If people are starved for this type entertainment, go to Raleigh, Durham, or even Sanford. If night driving is an issue, organize bus trips and support venues that are already struggling to make ends meet.
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Physical Address: 145 W. Pennsylvania Avenue, Southern Pines, NC Mailing Address: P.O. Box 58, Southern Pines, NC 28388 910-692-7271 Fax: 910-692-9382