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independent pump attendants worried by selling at a loss




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independent pump attendants worried by selling at a loss

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franceinfo – J. Van Hove, M. Lescanne, E. Gerenton, A. Abbas, B. Livertoux, K. Johnson

France Televisions

The government promises financial compensation for independent service stations, after being authorized to sell fuel at a loss. Managers of independent brands are very worried.

Cheaper fuel, which could be sold at a loss from December 1st. Well received by motorists, the discount is impossible to apply for an independent station in Poix-Terron, a village of 900 inhabitants in the Ardennes. “It’s not possible. We will try to reduce the margins perhaps a little more, if there are really big differences. But that will cause us difficulty”explains the manager, Jean-Baptiste Leblanc.

A death warrant for the 2,500 independent stations

The measure sounds like a death sentence for the 2,500 French independent stations. Some residents say they are supportive. “It keeps the people of the village alive, at least.”, estimates a local resident. In Sancy, in Puy-de-Dôme, selling at a loss is also not possible in the independent station, where fuel represents 80% of turnover. It has neither the cash flow nor the activity of a supermarket to afford to eliminate its margins.

To support small service stations, the government has just announced a compensation fund during the six months of authorization for selling at a loss.