Buc-ee's Heads To Court To Dam Up Texas Market
A new convenience store chain is opening in Texas, but it is going to take a fight.
After eight years of peace, the war between Texas-based Buc-ee's and Nebraska-based Bucky's has once again flared up. A truce was established in 2009 when the two reached an agreement that the name, logo and market areas of each rest stop/convenience store brand were different enough not to be confused. The peace was broken when Bucky's owner, Buck's Of Omaha, announced plans for a Texas expansion.
Buck's is working with developers to build six Bucky's within the next year, including locations in Houston, according to the lawsuit filed by Buc-ee's. Buc-ee's alleges that Buck's is trying to confuse the public by using a similar name and is seeking a court order to stop the planned expansion.
"We must take action to ensure that our brand integrity remains intact and that our customers' interaction with Buc-ee's is what they have come to know and expect," Buc-ee's CEO Beaver Aplin said in a statement.
Buc-ee's opened its first store in Lake Jackson in 1982. Now the roadside rest stop known for clean restrooms and unique snacks has 37 locations. Buck's also first used the named Bucky's in 1982, a nickname of its founder Steve Buchanan. Bucky's operates 85 stores, with all but three in the Chicago and Omaha areas.
While the names and business sound similar, they have their differences. Buc-ee's is a rest stop, often featuring dozens of pumps and toilets in stores that cover tens of thousands of square feet along major highways. Bucky's is a more traditional convenience store.
Tensions flared in 2006 when Buck's filed for a trademark registration, prompting Buc-ee's to apply for its own trademark registration three months later. The ensuing fracas resulted in Buck's suing Buc-ee's in 2008 claiming unfair competition and deceptive trade practice. The suit was eventually settled when the two agreed Buc-ee's could continue to use its name.
Buc-ee's is no stranger to court. The company is also involved in ongoing litigation against Choke Canyon Travel Center for using a hat-wearing cartoon alligator in a circle, much like the Buc-ee beaver.