Every day, like this Friday morning, the pumps of the Accès – TotalEnergies service station at Mirail, route de Saint-Simon, see a ballet of motorists pass by. The surge in the price of black gold is forcing some Toulouse residents to take a detour to fill the tanks of their car or two-wheeler. On the mon-essence website. fr, a fuel price comparator, the service station is positioned at the bottom of the basket. Currently, the price of a liter of diesel is 1.55 euros against nearly 1.70 euros for the most expensive. This saving of 10 euro cents per liter is “not negligible”, according to many customers. But why is the price of fuel different depending on the service station? There is no single answer. The explanation is multifactorial. The pricing policy is not the same depending on the size of the stations, their location or whether they belong to a group. Prices can be decided nationally. This is the case for Total stations, which align with national decisions. Imposed by the group’s management, prices may vary from one city to another, but remain the same within the same agglomeration.
With regard to large-scale distribution, prices are set locally by the store manager or director, often by applying a fixed coefficient which makes it possible to cover, in particular, operating costs. Supermarkets also set their prices according to their competitors, consumers having indicated by the most attractive price.
In independent service stations, it is the manager who sets the price.