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INDIANAPOLIS -- In an effort to ease gas price shock, Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Meijer stores here are offering consumers the opportunity to lean in advance when the retailer's gasoline prices are going to go up, before the hikes actually hit the pump.
Here's how the program works: After a customer has opted in, Meijer will send a text message confirming their request to join. Then, when Meijer anticipates a need to increase the price of gas due to a rise in its own costs, the retailer will send a text message to the subscriber's cell phone, usually before noon. The text message will tell the subscriber that the price of gas at Meijer will be going up early that afternoon. The message will usually allow the receiver about two hours to get to a Meijer gas station before the price goes up at the pump.
The program excludes diesel, kerosene, and racing fuel. At present, it is available for a limited time only in the Indianapolis area, and is limited to text message notifications only.
Meijer started the gas alert program on Memorial Day. It has thus far generated interest from about 300 people, according to local press reports. If deemed successful, the service will reportedly be rolled out chainwide.
The family-owned and operated Meijer operates more than 170 stores in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky.