Lex Brodie’s to shut down gas business

Lex Brodie's on Queen St.

A popular gas station in the heart of town will stop selling gas.

Lex Brodie’s Tire, Brake & Service Company announced Monday it is shutting down its gas pumps after 50 years to focus on its tire and auto service business. The company, known for its affordable gas prices, says it lost more than $20,000 in recent months and the cost of labor is to blame.

Scott Williams, president of Lex Brodie’s, says three out of the four lanes are set up for an attendant to pump the gas and converting them to all self-service “would cost so much, it would take too long to recoup the business.”

To help customers make the transition, Lex Brodie’s will keep one self service lane open until April 13.

“It kind of softens the blow, lets them fill up today, make plans for where they are going to start buying gas in the future,” Williams said.

With customers paying more than $4 for a gallon for gas, how can gas stations stay competitive while staying afloat?

“It’s a challenge in the industry,” said Barney Robinson of Chevron Nuuanu. “There is no doubt we have a lot of environmental compliance mandatory regulation, increased competition, lease rents. There are a lot of things that come in to play that impact our bottom lines.”

Robinson says stations can keep prices low and earn money through convenience stores, car washes, repair shops, and/or towing services. “We are not simply gas stations,” he said. “We have multiple avenues of revenue that keep us afloat.”

Lex Brodie’s says there is a silver lining for customers: It plans to expand the auto service and tire business.

“The hidden blessing in all this is our tire shop has gotten busier over the years and it’s extremely busy right now,” Williams said. “We are actually setting sales records.”

Lex Brodie’s plans to use the gasoline pump lanes to park up to 17 cars and will keep a pump open to honor business and corporate gasoline accounts. It will not be open to the public.

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