In Farragut gas wars, drivers win at the pump

In Farragut gas wars, drivers win at the pump

Posted:
While gas stations around Knoxville advertise gas at $3.38, much cheaper gas can be found in Farragut. While gas stations around Knoxville advertise gas at $3.38, much cheaper gas can be found in Farragut.
Ingles ran out of all but premium gas because of the low prices. Ingles ran out of all but premium gas because of the low prices.
Nancy Blankenship was on I-40 on her way to Ohio when her gasbuddy.com mobile app told her it was worth making a pit stop. Nancy Blankenship was on I-40 on her way to Ohio when her gasbuddy.com mobile app told her it was worth making a pit stop.
Drivers line up to fill up. Drivers line up to fill up.

By JILL MCNEAL
6 News Anchor/Reporter

FARRAGUT (WATE) - With signs all around Knoxville Wednesday advertising gas for $3.38, $3.01 seems like an oasis for empty tanks.

We're not sure who started this price war, but the major players are the Kroger Marketplace near the intersection of Kingston Pike and Campbell Station, the Ingles a mile and a half west, and the Costco at Lovell Road.

Costco's price is $2.98, but you have to be a member to fill up there. Drivers can get the same price at the Farragut Kroger if they have a rewards card.

The fighting was so fierce and the price so popular, Ingles was sold out of everything but premium for part of the day Wednesday.

Many disappointed drivers pulled in, read the sign and drove away. The refill trucks arrived just after noon.

Brenda Melton, from Harriman, always makes it a point to look for the cheapest gas. 

"When you have to make several trips back and forth, like I do up here to doctor's appointments and so forth, you have to," Melton said.

At the Kroger Marketplace, the lines were several cars long. 

"I haven't had to wait long, maybe about five minutes. It's not too bad," said Lawrence Bolland.

Not bad when you can save about $5 on the average fill-up. Nancy Blankenship was on I-40 on her way to Ohio when her gasbuddy.com mobile app told her it was worth making a pit stop.

"When it's like 40 or 50 cents cheaper than any place else, it was worth the drive over here to fill up," she said.

The stores won't say whether they're still making a profit selling gas at these prices or why it's happening in Farragut and not other parts of town.

Ingles told us it usually starts with one location deciding to be very aggressive in their pricing and then neighbors follow suit. Costco says they check out the competition several times a day.

Kroger gave us a statement saying:

"Kroger recognizes how difficult it is for families to make ends meet in this challenging economy, and we are making every effort to help. We are constantly monitoring our price and position, making adjustments when necessary. We believe our pricing position is a competitive advantage, particularly in today's challenging economy. Even with the rising cost of gas, Kroger is making every effort to keep prices affordable at the pump – and deliver the most value – to our customers in Farragut and the surrounding area. Customers can also take advantage of savings year-round through Kroger's Fuel Rewards Program, which saves an additional 10 cents to $1 per gallon from Kroger Fuel Centers just by shopping at Kroger."

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