He said it is common for gas stations in small- to medium-sized cities, like Marshalltown, not to compete aggressively.
“It’s the kind of thing where it probably doesn’t happen and it probably doesn’t have to happen,” Winters said. “Suppliers can basically just decide amongst themselves without ever really talking that they’re not going to be very competitive…They kind of often fall into this status quo.”
Many of Marshalltown’s gas stations have corporate ownership, from the city’s five Casey’s General Stores to its three Kwik Star stores, two Git n’ Go stores and more. Winters said those corporations are used to competing with one another in markets across the state and region. “There’s even less likelihood of competition because they’re not just playing this game in one area, they’re playing this game in multiple areas,” he said.