Q & A: Abdel Darras 

local gas station owner

As gas prices continue to soar, the squeeze is on both consumers and merchants. Abdel Darras is owner and part-time operator of the BP station at Union and Myrtle. On a recent afternoon, he is busy as customers stream in and out to pay for gas, buy hot food, and purchase cigarettes and lottery tickets. But Darras is concerned that his customers don't understand the situation that gas prices create for businesspeople like him. -- By Ben Popper

Flyer: Have you noticed a drop in the number of customers purchasing gas?

Darras: Oh yes, definitely. It has been a gradual decline, but once the prices started climbing over $2.40, I started to see a change. I would say that now I'm doing about 20 percent less business than before. Of course, a lot less people are buying premium gas and everyone is spending less money inside the store.

Do people blame you for the cost of gas?

A lot of people come inside and complain because they think it's my fault. I don't set my own prices. I used to see a profit of maybe 5 or 6 cents a gallon. Now I'm lucky to get 1, maybe 1 and a half cents. People think we're gouging them, but it's just the opposite. How do you set your price?

The refinery sets our price; they call us every day.

What do you think is causing the price increase?

Well, I think a part of the problem is not enough supply, but I think the main problem is the market. We have to go by the price of petrol, and overanxious investors are causing a lot of the price inflation.

Are you worried?

I've been in the gas business for 15 years. I am worried because I don't think the prices will ever go back to their original levels. I was selling gas in 2000 at 77 cents a gallon. That will never happen again.

Keep the Flyer Free!

Always independent, always free (never a paywall),
the Memphis Flyer is your source for the best in local news and information.

Now we want to expand and enhance our work.
That's why we're asking you to join us as a Frequent Flyer member.

You'll get membership perks (find out more about those here) and help us continue to deliver the independent journalism you've come to expect.


Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

The Latest

News Blog

Group Hopes to De-Criminalize Poverty

Hungry Memphis

Best Bets: Lobster Stew at Flying Fish

Art Feature

Horn Island: The Last Show

News Blog

Attorneys General Plan to Curb Robocalls

The Rant

The Buck Stops ... Where?

We Saw You

Grandma’s Heavenly Meatball Eating Contest and More

Film Features

Good Boys

Letter From The Editor

Let’s Go Krogering ...

Book Features

You Got a Friend: Susan Cushman’s Friends of the Library

ADVERTISEMENT

More by Ben Popper

Readers also liked…

  • Art Dollars

    Q&A with Lauren Kennedy, executive director of the UrbanArt Commission
    • Jan 4, 2018
  • Moving Water

    Leaders plunge into water issues for the present and the future.
    • Jan 25, 2018
  • TVA Land

    Groups hit agency on pricing and water tests.
    • Feb 8, 2018
ADVERTISEMENT
© 1996-2019

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation