'Cheapest place in town': Lakeland gas station slashes pump prices, makes up difference inside market

Drivers are flocking to a Lakeland market that is selling gas at bargain-basement prices.

On Wednesday, Aladdin’s Market on Cleveland Heights Blvd. was selling regular for $3.89 a gallon. Elsewhere, it is selling for about 35 cents more per gallon.

"It is the cheapest place in town, "Katucha Muller told FOX 13. "That’s why I come here."

She joined such a steady flow of customers and Aladdin’s Market ran out of gas by late afternoon. It got another delivery a few hours later.

"We’re retired, so we don’t have to drive to work and back, but we take advantage of the low prices because we are on a fixed income, and so to us, it makes a difference," said Ron Fontwind.

The owner of Aladdin’s says the dramatic price cut is a thank-you gift for Lakeland.

Outside of Aladin's Market in Lakeland

"This community is the reason I am in business," explained Sam Rabi. "This is the least I can do to give some (thing) back."

READ Florida gas prices hit 2-month low

What Rabi is losing at the pump, he is making up inside the store. Customers are buying a lot more drinks, snacks and other items. He says business is booming and hopes other mom-and-pop stations adopt his new business model.

Woman pumping gas

Several things are leading to a drop in gas prices nationwide. The demand is not as high as experts predicted. It looks like demand will continue to drop because of a new COVID-19 variant. China is especially worried.

READ Florida's gas prices are dropping: here's why

"There are concerns that the strain could lead to mass lockdowns and ultimately could reduce the demand for gas in that area," said AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins.

Jenkins also says the price of crude oil decreasing has driven down the price at the pump.