Northeast Ohio gasoline stations feeling the squeeze despite soaring prices at the pump

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Soaring gas prices doesn't necessarily mean soaring profits for gas stations.

Particularly mom and pop operations like the Shell station Bill Prymus has operated with his family for years.

"For the past three weeks we've been selling gasoline at our cost or below cost," Prymus said.

Prymus points out that he is a Shell leasee not a Shell owned station so doesn't have the muscle of a true branded gas station like BP or others who can take a loss here and make it up at stations in other areas if necessary.

"Circle K has 9,000 stations in the United States," he said.

As a leasee he can't even control the prices he sells gas at.

They're dictated to him from the company.

If not for lottery sales inside he wonders if he can stay in business.

"Speedway is unbranded, Sheets is unbranded, American and all those other companies that are advertising they are all unbranded gasoline.  They can buy at a lower price?  They can buy at a lower price.  A lease dealer cannot, he sticks with the price from the oil company, he pays a higher rent," Prymus said.

It's no coincidence prices are all within a few cents.

In Northeast Ohio Prymus said Speedway controls pricing.  When they post a price in the morning everyone else follows suit.  Surprisingly at the station they say they get few complaints.

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