Alaska grocers get into gasoline sales

Posted: Thursday, July 13, 2000

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Alaskans will soon be able to top off their gas tanks when they go grocery shopping.

Fred Meyer is opening gas stations at its stores in Fairbanks, Soldotna and the Muldoon section of Anchorage this summer. The company says, eventually, all of its stores with space available will have gas stations.

Carrs is opening a gas station at its Eagle River store next month and company officials say they plan more stations.

The move is part of a national trend. Many big retailers, including Kroger, Safeway, Costco and Wal-Mart have started selling gasoline.

''The lines have blurred a little bit,'' Jeff Cook, a vice president with Williams Alaska Petroleum Co., which runs a chain of gas station and convenience stores.

Companies are trying to win business from consumers whose busy lifestyles give them little time to shop and run around, Cook said.

Carrs and Fred Meyer gas stations will operate during similar hours -- from 6 or 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. or midnight, with credit card service available when the kiosks are closed.

Williams will supply FM Fuel Stop's gasoline. In Anchorage, that means serving a gas station just a few hundred yards from one of its own, possibly hurting its own business.

''Fred Meyer is going to put in gas no matter what we do,'' Cook said. Williams might as well get the wholesale business, he said. ''They're going to get gas from somewhere.''



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