Grocery stores brace for impact of rising gas prices

Posted by: Melissa Johnson - bio | email

MILLBROOK, AL (WSFA) - Everyone is feeling the pain at the pump.  It seems like every time you pass a gas station, the numbers have gone even higher!

Now comes concern that those skyrocketing gas prices could lead to higher costs across the board.

Anthony Murphy is one of many drivers across the country who is fuming over gas prices.

"It's way too high.  I have a small car, and I just paid $38.42 for gas," he said.  "I try to go just places that are needed, like work, home, and to my parents place. I don't go very far right now.  It's just too expensive."

And it could be more than just driving habits that change. When the price of gas goes up, everything that has to be transported using fuel is also affected.

Greg Chandler, Manager at Food Outlet in Millbrook said, "It affects us as a grocery store because we have to be cautious of what we buy.  We're trying to give customers the best deal."

Chandler says, while the higher price at the pump hasn't filtered down yet, it's inevitable.  And customers know it too.

"They are very aware of why they are paying the extra money," he said.

The USDA predicted that food costs would increase 3% this year, and that was before gas prices skyrocketed.

But Chandler says, the increase can actually help local grocery stores like theirs.

"Sometimes people tend to shop closer to home," he added.

Meaning folks are driving less and hoping to save more, both behind the wheel and at the dinner table.

Copyright 2011 WSFA. All rights reserved.