Monthly fuel bills add up to less spending

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT — Size matters, especially if it’s the size of the monthly fuel bill. Just because gas prices haven’t eclipsed $5 as many analysts had feared, doesn’t mean those lower-than-expected prices at the pump aren’t impacting buying and trip decisions, as evidenced by this latest survey. 

(THE NEWS: Shoppers continue to alter purchasing behaviors amid rising gas prices. For the full story, click here.)

As of July 11, the average price for a gallon of regular was $3.631, according to AAA’s "Daily Fuel Gauge Report," and that’s almost 92 cents higher than this time last year. 

Rising gas prices remains a big concern for retailers — 92% of Drug Store News readers said retailers certainly would lose trips if gas prices shot above $5 per gallon. However, consumer sensitivity to prices at the pump appears to be much lower than that $5 mark. 

Retailers who underscore their value proposition stand the most to gain with today’s consumer: a shopper still reeling from the latest economic recession who’s concerned over what seems to be ever-increasing energy prices.

For example, CVS/pharmacy is going a long way toward raising its value visibility with its “MoneyTrashers” program, where the retailer delivers quarterly ExtraBucks reward statements to the mailbox. CVS/pharmacy also is tapping into social media to help drive that value proposition — “liking” CVS on Facebook, for example, provides tips to loyal consumers on how best to save at their local pharmacy. 

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