The local businessman opened his shop which bears more than a passing resemblance to TK Maxx two months ago in order to help revitalise an area of empty shops. He advises that the choice of name was tongue in cheek and a joke.
Simmons & Simmons an international law firm representing TK Maxx have now written to him accusing him of ‘trading off’ the name and reputation of TK Maxx. They further demand that he changes his name.
Brooks has stated that he cannot afford to become embroiled in a legal battle with the high-street giant and so he will likely have to change the name of his shop.
In explaining the way in which he came up with the name PK Max, Mr Brooks stated; “my family have been in retail since 1949. I run Brooks Memorabilia next door. My nickname is Max, comes from my mother’s maiden name- and my partner’s name is Paul Kelly- he runs the rock shop on the other side”.
He added that when the shop between them came empty and derelict the pair decided to join forces and fill the shop with a sports and fashion store. He further commented “We were honestly doing our bit for Blackpool, there’s nothing worse than empty shops. Yes, we know the name was a but tongue in cheek, but there is also a toy store in Blackpool with the same logo as the film Toy Story, there’s also an ice cream shop called Ken and Terry’s. It is genuinely a mix of both our names but was also a play on the TK Max name, we were just having a bit of fun, Blackpool is like that. It’s not like we were going to be competition for them and start opening stores in Paris or anything. We’re just a small family-run store. We employ a couple of people and managed to keep the shop open.”
Mr Brooks said that the legal letter arrived on Saturday morning, it was hand delivered and he was required to sign for it. He added “my heart did go a bit because you really don’t want to go around upsetting companies and getting yourself in a legal mess. The letter is from a solicitor acting on behalf of TK Maxx companies and says it is regards to ‘Your infringement of TK Maxx trade marks, it is a four-page letter and basically demands I change the name and that I have until the end of the month to respond. Of course, we’re going to change the name. We are not going to get in a wrangle with a big company who could crush us in a minute. I just think that the company needn’t be so heavy handed. A phone call to tell me that I needed to change the name would have done it. There was no need to get solicitors involved. I would have always complied with their wishes”.
TK Maxx have declined to comment.