Buc-ee's to Open Two New Locations in 2009

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Buc-ee's to Open Two New Locations in 2009

HOUSTON -- For Texas motorists, it is common to see a plethora of different Buc-ee’s billboard, some of which advertise a convenience store location 262 miles from the sign.

The strategy of creating general interest has worked for the 25-store chain that was launched in 1982 and is best known for its original offerings such as peppered elk jerky, 18 kinds of homemade fudge, private-label peach salsa, hunting supplies, smoke pits and souvenir T-shirts and bumper stickers. For many, it is a tourist attraction, especially its Luling location, according to The Houston Chronicle.

Building on its popularity, the company announced it will build two more locations: one connecting Houston and Dallas on Interstate 45 in Madisonville and the other between Houston and Victoria on U.S. 59 in Wharton. Both locations will have a larger footprint. The quirky brand will be built upon, and owner Beaver Aplin told the newspaper that the new stores will simply have "more stuff."

The paper reported that the Buc-ee’s in Pearland features seven touch-screen kiosks at the gas pumps providing customers with the ability to custom ordering sandwiches, while filling up. Inside, there are 100 varieties of wine, potato chips made on site, a sophisticated coffee bar, elegantly packaged French and Italian olive oils, 48 flavors of Jelly Belly and scores of private-label products.

"They’re taking a product category with zero excitement and giving it some," Betsy Gelb, professor of marketing at the Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston, told the paper. "If you can give consumers a little whimsy and humor and a little distraction from the long drive, why shouldn’t they go there?"