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Indies struggle in price-war crossfire

02 October, 2006
Page 4 

Santokh Bath fears he will be priced out of business through supermarket price wars

Independent petrol station bosses in one East Midlands county say they're in danger of going under as the supermarket giants battle it out for the cheapest fuel.
The Sainsbury's, Morrison's, Asda and Tesco price-war in Leicestershire is seeing diesel fall to 91.9ppl, and unleaded to 85.9ppl, while independents are struggling at 94.9p and 89.9p.And that, says Wijesekera Saloman, who co-owns a Jet outlet in St. Peter's, Leicester, is a very serious problem: "I may even have to reconsider my livelihood in the future. Supermarkets cutting down on petrol prices means there is no real chance for small places like mine to continue."Santokh Bath (pictured above) has run Knighton Self Service for 20 years and times, he says, have never been harder, with his forecourt shop being his lifeline: "The spending habits of people have changed and it's important for this industry to adapt to it, but I fear that as local stations continue to struggle against the supermarkets, we will eventually be priced out of competing." A spokesman for Asda said that at the end of the day the priority was the customer: "It's of great importance to make the petrol as cheap as possible for the motorist," he said.