Albany BP owners lose thousands in sales from boycotts -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Albany BP owners lose thousands in sales from boycotts

By Christian Jennings - bio | email

ALBANY,  GA (WALB) – Albany retailers who sell BP gasoline are suffering financially because of the Gulf oil spill. Many Americans are shunning BP as a form of protest and not purchasing gas or snacks at any BP station.

BP station owners in Albany are noticing a dip in sales anywhere from 5 to 20 percent.

It didn't take long to find an Albany motorist who said he's been boycotting BP since day 1. But Albany station owners say they are independently owned businesses and such boycotts mostly hurt their pockets, not the British oil giant.

Mike Willock avoids the yellow and green signs at all costs.

"I just don't think they're doing enough," said Willock. He just drove 13 hours home to Albany and didn't stop at BP once, even when it was most convenient.

"I'm definitely not going to buy there," said Willock.

Nainesh Patel has been selling fuel under the BP banner on Slappey Blvd for 7 years. Now sales are dropping because of such boycotts.

"We've probably been affected 5 to 10 percent," said Patel.

Other stations are taking a bigger hit than that. Mr. Patel's brother owns the BP on Dawson road where sales have dropped 15 to 20 percent. He says if it gets any worse, he'll change the brand of gas he carries.

The Patels hope it doesn't go that far. They're trying to inform their customers that what's happening on the water is out of their hands.

"We're not doing this, it has nothing to do with us," said Patel.

Patel says not stopping at a BP station hurts hard working businessmen like himself a lot more than it hurts BP.

"They're thinking BP owns them all, that's why they're not coming in but it's not right, it's all different owners," said Patel.

But there are still the loyal ones like Brady Cagle.

"We do $2,000 a month worth of gas here. I'd hurt them a lot of we just walked off," said Cagle. So he's staying true to his friend Mr. Patel.

"It's their right to boycott. I'm not saying anybody is right or wrong. But I've been doing business here for two long and it's not this gentleman's fault," said Cagle.

The Patels believe it's customers like Cagle that will keep them in business while they stick out the crisis.

If the Patels choose to change brand names and go with a different company than BP, that switch could cost anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000.

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