Wawa, Hess End Gas Price War

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Wawa, Hess End Gas Price War

ALLENTOWN, Pa. -- Traffic safety concerns prompted a truce between a Wawa convenience store and gas station and a Hess station here, after cars piled into the intersection and the surrounding roads to fill up their tanks with gas that was more than $1 below the national average, The Morning Call reported.

"Would you have your moms out here in this madness?" Darrel Smith of Allentown told the paper moments after he pumped gas into his mother's car at Wawa, amid lines of drivers, many of whom had waited at least 15 minutes to get gas, according to the report.

The price war began a month ago and peaked when both stations dropped their prices to $1.94 a gallon, nearly $1 less than the state average, and more than $1 less than the national average. As of midnight yesterday, Wawa had returned to its normal market pricing, the report stated.

Wawa, based in Wawa, Pa., described the region as "ground zero for a gas price war" in a statement and explained its reasoning for an end. "We feel that we are doing the right thing," Wawa spokeswoman Lori Bruce said in the statement. "At this point, because of concerns over safety and the congestion in and around the lots, we decided to bring the price war to an end."

The crowding also was an inconvenience for people buying food and beverages, as well as gas. In addition, the volume of gas customers was much higher than company officials anticipated, she said.

Wawa will continue to offer a 5-cent discount for cash purchases on gas, Bruce added.

Some customers traveled far distances to fill up. Megan Fagan drove 23 miles to the Allentown Wawa from Germansville, Pa., to fill up her minivan. The 15-minute wait was worth it, she said. "I saved about $20," she told the paper.