On Monday, Texas-based Buc-ee’s opened its first location in Alabama. The convenience store, located in Baldwin County, is now the state’s largest and the first Buc-ee’s to open outside of the Lone Star State.
At the intersection of Interstate 10 and the Baldwin Beach Express, this 50,000-square-foot Buc-ee’s location is breaking the mold geographically while still holding true to the chain’s unique, Texas-sized approach to the gas station and convenience store business.
As reported by Lagniappe, the new store will have 120 fuel pumps, huge bathrooms and expansive made-to-order and grab-and-go food options that fans of Buc-ee’s have come to love.
Dan Parkinson, new store opening coordinator, told Lagniappe that the company is expanding from its home state and hoping to make an impression nationally.
“It’s the first of the company’s 35 stores to be located outside the state of Texas, and the first in our quest to take over the world, one clean bathroom at a time,” Parkinson said.
He explained that Buc-ee’s is built to be much more than a pit stop for customers.
“It’s a shopping destination designed for travelers,” Parkinson outlined. “No 18-wheelers are allowed on the property, we have a lot of special gift items … we’re the king of the last minute gift. We’ve got all kinds of cool and really unique items for home decor, swimwear, sunglasses, anything you need to go down to the beach, a smattering of tackle and live bait, but also grills, sports memorabilia … just all kinds of stuff people may need when they’re out on the road or going on vacation.”
Not only is the chain customer-friendly, but Buc-ee’s is known for treating its employees well, too.
With pay well above the industry average starting from $14-$19 per hour, three weeks annual paid-vacation time and available 401ks, the company is able to attract better workers to help maintain its high standards. However, they also hold one more unique recruiting advantage: the chain publicly posts its salary ranges and benefits on large signage in every store, adding to their commitment to transparency and accountability.
For the Baldwin County location, Buc-ee’s reportedly hired about 200 employees from an applicant pool of 3,500. The staff will help keep Alabama’s largest convenience store open all hours, seven days per week.
“We wanted to get the best people who want to work,” Parkinson told Lagniappe. “It takes that level of staff to maintain the facility in the condition we want it to exceed customer expectations every time they come in.”
Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn