Competition

Competition. There’s an app for that, probably several.

On my smart phone, I have an app from a gas station, Murphy USA. Murphy USA is associated with Wal-Mart. The app shows me where their gas stations are and how to get them. It has a price comparison feature that shows me their price for a gallon of regular gasoline, as well as that of their nearest competitors.

Here’s the odd part. For the Murphy USA station at Slaughter and IH35 in Austin, the app shows four competitors: Valero, Chevron, Shell and Wal-Mart.

Wal-Mart? Wal-Mart has gasoline stations that compete with Murphy USA? Actually, no. There is no Wal-Mart gas station other than the Murphy station at this Wal-Mart/Murphy site and probably not at any Wal-Mart/Murphy site. And, oddly enough, the app shows that the Wal-Mart prices are higher than the Murphy prices. Makes me wonder about the accuracy of anything it displays. See how that slippery slope works? Get one (big) thing wrong and everyone wonders about all things from that app.

Prices listed for a gallon of regular gasoline for Thursday, 17 March 2011:

Murphy USA: $3.35
Valero: $3.39
Chevron: $3.39
Shell: $3.39
Wal-Mart: $3.40

Sure won’t be buying gasoline at that Wal-Mart gas station. Its prices are highest and, well, it doesn’t exist.

Postaweek2011

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