Though the public may believe that prices go up during a storm, stores universally denied raising prices due to bad weather or increased demand.
“The prices at Lowe’s will remain the same,” said Karen Cobb, a spokesperson for Lowe’s. “There is no impact on pricing because of the storm. Prices do not go up because the demand is high or because the weather changes.”
Stephen Holmes, a spokesman for Home Depot, said that his chain did not use weather events or increased demand as a way to raise pricing.
“We’re extremely careful to make sure there is not even the appearance of price gouging,” he said. “In a disaster, we will hold prices even before the disaster hits. I’m not aware of any commodity pricing changing dramatically due to a snowstorm.”
Suzi Robinson, spokesperson for Stop & Shop New England, said that her company does not generally comment on pricing strategies, but, she added that “it’s not in our best interest to suddenly change prices because there is a storm.”
One commodity that has been rising in Massachusetts in recent weeks, gas prices, should not rise because of the storm, said AAA of Southern New England spokesperson Mary Maguire.
“A lot of people rush out before a storm to fill their tank, but we have no data to support that prices go up accordingly,” she said.
Because of the lessened demand after a lengthy storm, Maguire said that the bad weather could actually lead to lower prices due to a curb in demand.
“The one exception I see is major events that impact refining activity like Superstorm Sandy did,” said Maguire. “If oil rigs and refineries shut down, then that can impact prices as it temporarily curbs supply, which drives up price. We see more of an impact with tropical storm and hurricane events then we do with significant snowstorms.”
As of Thursday, Feb. 7, AAA’s fuel gauge report shows the current average price for a gallon of gas in Boston as $3.679. That’s up from $3.55 a week ago and $3.53 per gallon this time last year.Daniel B. Kline can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter, @dbkbdc.