Tag Archives: mall

Are Gas Prices Impacting Shopping Behavior?

Rapidly increasing gas prices have gas stations scrambling to keep up. This one in Great Falls, VA ran out of the # 4 when gas surpassed $4 per gallon.

Shoppers Are Turning to Cost2Drive in Increasing Numbers

This morning my wife wanted to purchase tickets to an upcoming show at the Kennedy Center.  She decided to order the tickets online to save time and the fuel costs associated with driving into Washington, DC to buy the tickets in person, but was stunned by the huge service fee of $32 for ordering them online.  All of a sudden the trade off in convenience didn’t seem worth the extra expense, but there was still the fuel cost to consider.

Fortunately she had downloaded the  Cost2Drive iPhone app and  within seconds was able to determine that the trip into DC would cost her a mere $3.85, less than $8 round trip, and so she opted to drive to the Kennedy Center to pick up the tickets  thereby saving $24 off the cost of the total ticket purchase.

With a swipe of her finger, my wife could also have quickly compared the costs of driving each of our cars into DC.

As she related this story  I thought about the millions of scenarios that occur each day throughout the US that involve similar types of cost-benefit analyses tied to driving costs and gas prices.

Some examples include:

  • Is it cheaper to drive to the outlets or shop nearby?
  • How good is that daily deal I’m considering once I factor in driving costs?
  • What’s it going to cost me to run back to the grocery store for that one item I forgot?

I decided to investigate if others were using Cost2Drive in this manner by searching through over 200,000 trips entered on our popular trip cost calculator in March to see if any had shopping malls entered as the trip destination.  Several hundred did with the Mall of America in Bloomington, MN as the most popular followed by The Florida Mall in Orlando and the King of Prussia Mall in Pennsylvania.

The average trip distance for these routes was slightly over 300 miles, which is much shorter than the 800-mile average distance for all routes entered on Cost2Drive.com.  When the Mall of America, which is a travel destination in itself, is removed from the results the average distance drops to 230 miles with many routes being entered in the 10-20 mile range indicating that shoppers are indeed concerned about driving costs, even for nearby shopping trips.

Are high gas prices impacting your daily shopping habits? Share your experiences below.