Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Remembering Dave Gorman

Reading this headline in the Guardian today reminded me of Dave Gorman's America Unchained.

If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend a viewing, it's a really powerful (and funny) piece of work - bravo him. Anyway, the basic thrust of it is that Dave tries to travel from one American coast to the other without going into a chain. That means no Holiday Inn, no Burger King and no big brand fuel. Needless to say, he struggles like hell to only refuel on Unchained stuff - often finding himself running on fumes.

Todays news makes me think that Unchained fuel is going to become increasingly difficult to find in the UK too as the Guardian reported that "three of Britain's biggest chains announced they would cut fuel prices, with Asda saying it would shave 3p a litre off the cost of unleaded and diesel and Morrisons cutting 4p".

My first instinct when I saw this headline - and it is just instinct, not the truth necessarily - is that the supermarkets will treat the fuel as a loss leader and end up making a fortune out of pre-packed sandwiches.

I have a few theories about loss leaders:

1. They shouldn't be legal
2. Until they're illegal I'd like to have a swarm of people who go in, buy the loss leaders only and then leave.

What do you think? When you fill up do you think about where your fuel is coming from? Or is price your main concern? Love to hear your thoughts.

1 comment:

Sam said...

Ah, now this is interesting. Putting morals aside for the moment (I know you're not strictly supposed to do that, but needs must) I'm glad the supermarkets have done this.

There are some people who, in a time of recession, are being absolutely crippled by their fuel bills. When you have kids to take to school, or businesses which rely on fuel, buying a bike and sticking everything in the basket just isn't an option. Plus, they were probably going to do their shopping in a supermarket anyway - this just means its less likely to be Tesco. If the big guys can make things a bit easier for people, I'm glad that they do.

I know this is a short term view, but I think its a realistic one. Now. What REALLY needs to happen (you listening Boris?) is that public transport needs to be more plentiful and the ticket prices slashed. And bike lanes improved, for those of us with the option. No-one will abandon their cars, and the hypermarkets, until there's somewhere else to go.