Recently, there has been numerous new gas stations popping up in the area. In the past year, we have seen a new Murphy’s at 500 W Main St Lexington. A 7-eleven at 4301 Sunset Blvd. and another brand new 7-eleven at 5229 Sunset Blvd. There is a lot more. Those are just located in town. This begs the question, how many do we need and why?
How Stores Pick Locations
In a 2012 Forbes article written by Johnathon Betcher titled “Why Gas Stations are so Close Together” explains the marketing and research that goes into the placement of stations. What it comes down to is, most companies have done research and found a high demand for the store in that area. So, they pop a gas station in, then other stations follow. This is why you rarely ever see one station alone. They are usually right next to each other, in or around the same areas. This is called clustering. It has a purpose and is totally done to insure the success of the stores.
Normally, two outcomes happen with clustering. The first is a store opens and its the only one in the area. It can ultimately end up failing OR becomes so successful that, and you guessed it, other stores start building and opening around that store. There has recently been a population boom in the Lexington area. The increase in people, results in an increase in traffic, thus an increase in the gas stations.
When you look at most of the gas stations in Lexington, they are rarely not busy. In fact, finding an open pump sometimes in town during peak hours of traffic, can be a daunting task. Up and down Sunset Boulevard, Columbia Avenue, and Main Street around five o’clock, exist a plethora of cars, traffic lights and angry drivers. Most of the time, many of us are stuck and have to just sit back and enjoy the “suck” on our drive home from work or school.
Are More Gas Stations a Problem?
In short, gas stations really are not going to be an issue, just a disappointment. We all get excited when we see new construction or a new store coming in to occupy an old building. It would be rather nice to see some amazing new restaurants, bars, or retail outlets like Belk but, until those places decide its a great idea to build here, we are really just going to have to get use to disappointment.
Since the virus outbreak, many retailers and other stores are closing. For example, we just lost two store fronts recently, Pink Pineapple Boutique just announced they are closing their store front to focus on online sales, and Free Bird Boutique is doing the same. Changes in this type of buying and spending will force other stores to make the same decisions or close.
Tell us what you think!