Supermarket chief fuels petrol debate
ONE of Britain’s top business chiefs has responded to the Times & Citizen’s Petrol Prices Campaign.
Justin King CBE, the group chief executive of Sainsbury’s, wrote to T&C editor Jim Stewart this week to explain his company’s policy on setting petrol prices.
He was sorry to hear of local concern but said his company’s aim was to remain competitive within local areas – and felt there was no need to review their policy.
The T&C Petrol Prices Campaign is calling for a fair deal for motorists in the borough.
Prices at the forecourt are generally 2p to 3p higher than in neighbouring towns .
We pointed out to Mr King an example that fuel at his stores in Bedford and Kempston was 2p higher than at the Sainsbury’s store in Biggleswade.
In his reply, he said: “We compete with many other petrol retailers and we regularly check our prices against those of our competitors as our priority is always to deliver the best prices for our customers.
“The fuel prices at our Bedford stations are reviewed using information from local competitors. Due to the distance between our Bedford petrol stations and other sites we will continue to adjust our individual station prices separately, to ensure our customers get the best price within each area.
“I am concerned you and your readers feel there is a degree of unfairness to our approach but I would like to assure you one of the reasons we do not have a blanket price point is so we can remain competitive within local areas.
“Our buyers regularly review the price of fuel and work closely with our suppliers to get the best deals for our customers. I appreciate this matter is very important to motorists in Bedford, however, we cannot set a pricing policy for a wider area whilst remaining competitive in both Bedford and Biggleswade, for example.
“We are therefore not considering changing our pricing policy.
“I hope this reassures you and your readers that fuel in our Bedford petrol stations is priced fairly and competitively.”
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Thursday 20 June 2013
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