Boycott BP movement slows down, but petrol retailers are still feeling the burn
BP petrol retailers are making a very slow recovery, as the rate of growth in the BP Boycott movement levels off, reports The New York Times. Whereas revenues were down about 30% at the start of the spill, the decline in sales is now around 5% for retailers across the US. With the oil well cap just about sealed and the worst apparently over, has the online Boycott BP movement mirrored the decline in business?
The Boycott BP online movement is headquartered at the Boycott BP Facebook page, with its community of 850,000. From the discussion on the page, one would assume the worst has yet to come. As shown in the screenshot of the page’s wall, below, local residents are very keen on sharing fire-kindling stories of the post-spill.
But another look reveals a different story. A look at the membership numbers and it is clear that the growth of the movement has slowed down considerably over the past two months. And, conversation online around organizing BP boycotts (shown in the graph below) has declined since the end of May (there was a brief revival of interest at the end of June when the Boycott BP Facebook page mysteriously disappeared, causing a series of anti-corporate conspiracy theories).
The Facebook page, which had 750,000 fans over a month ago, has also experienced a leveling off in new members in the last month. The InsideFacebook.com page statistic graph for the fan page shows the significant join-rate decline.
Nonetheless, the hurt for independent retailers doesn’t seem to be letting up completely. According to the Times article, retailers are still experiencing a 50% decline in sales in some areas of the country. The strong determination of the die-hard Facebook members is sure to keep the long-tailed PR crisis going for several months down the road.