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Swallow Oil is being fair

Guest CommentaryGary SwallowGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

I have never, during the 57 years our company has been in business in Rifle, responded to letters to the editor before, but the letters from various persons in the Glenwood Springs Post Independent and The Citizen Telegram last week must be addressed. To the persons who wrote to the papers, and to all of you who need to purchase fuel, I understand your frustration. Believe me or not, our company is frustrated, too. We see our suppliers change our costs of fuel almost every day, sometimes up and sometimes down, which makes it difficult to adjust our retail prices, especially when one of our c-stores may have received a full load of gas at a higher price and the others received a load at a different price. We complain to our suppliers just as you are complaining about us. We do not price our fuel based upon hurricanes or other speculations, but on our cost at the time of delivery. Addressing the period of the hurricane, our costs increased 5 cents per gallon on Sept. 11; 7 cents on Sept. 12; and 13 cents on Sept. 13; and we had full transport loads scheduled for all our c-stores on Sept. 13 and Sept. 14. Therefore we raised the price. We have since lowered the price back down because our costs have gone down. We try to maintain a reasonable gross profit margin of between 51⁄2 to 9 percent, depending on what the costs are on a particular day. That is gross profit, not net profit after expenses. Our largest expense other than labor for clerks, is the fee we have to pay for taking your credit card, which is between 2 percent on the low side to 31⁄2 percent. This relates to a per gallon discount on gas and diesel between 8 cents to 15 cents per gallon. Remember, all companies are in business to make a reasonable profit. Our gross profit of 51⁄2-9 percent is a far cry from the S & P 500 companies, whose net profit is around 81⁄2 percent.While we dont feel we are ripping off consumers, Im sure many of you do, especially if you see the prices in Grand Junction. While most of the time our prices are lower than Parachute and around the same as the Cameo Truck Stop, they are higher than in Grand Junction. We wonder how the prices can be that low, so low sometimes they are lower at retail at some stations than what we pay for it. Now that seems impossible, but it really is so. Our conscience is clear that we are being fair, and the Attorney General is welcome to inspect our books. All of you feel free to talk to me at home at 625-1807, or call the office at 625-1467 and talk to Kirk or Kris. We will attempt to answer your questions. Gary Swallow represents Swallow Oil Co. in Rifle.


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