BRICK – Why do gas stations go out of businesses while others are opening at the same time?
You’ll see it throughout the county, but in Brick Township alone, three new Wawa gas stations and a Royal Farms gas station have received approvals in recent months. However, other gas stations went out of business, like the Getty station on Brick Boulevard, which will be the site of a new Starbucks.
It has to do with what other services are offered at the station. Brick Township Zoning Officer Sean Kinneavy said the model of gas stations has changed over the years.
“The old model was a gas station that had pumps and bays for repairs and service work, but through talking to people and observation, that was no longer financially feasible because the owners don’t make much money on gas sales,” he said.
“So the owner would be interrupted while he was repairing cars to sell gas. I’ve seen 10 or 12 gas stations go out of business in Brick because they weren’t making enough money,” Kinneavy said.
The next gas station model was a partnership between the oil companies – who would buy the gas station – and an independent owner, who would run the service bay, change oil and sell tires.
“The independent owner would have to abide by [the oil company’s] rules in terms of signage and other things, almost like a franchise agreement with the oil company,” he said.
In the 1980s, the new model for gas stations was gas pumps, an office with a little store, and a freestanding car wash building, but this model didn’t last since the stores were not large enough, and most people did not get their cars washed at a gas station, Kinneavy said.
The newest model for gas stations are the super Wawas and Quick Checks that have large stores, prepared food and gas, but no repair shop, which are largely national franchises now.