Closing the Cube: Prototype convenience store closes doors in Norman
NORMAN — The Cube has closed the prototype for its convenience store concept in Norman, but it vows to eventually return to Oklahoma with multiple locations after fine-tuning the concept.
The Norman store, 1415 W Main, closed Sunday afternoon, ending its year and a half operation as a prototype for the new convenience store chain.
The store was meant to be a test location for The Cube, allowing the company to determine what products sold the best, said Bill Breedlove, chief marketing officer for The Cube.
“Our goal was to take convenience and make it more convenient,” Breedlove said. “Norman was our test. We have been at it for over a year, and over that time, we have learned a lot of things. Things change, and they are not what you expect.”
The Cube plans to take what it learned from the Norman store and relaunch the chain in the Dallas market in 2017, Breedlove said. The company is financed with a mix of self-funding and investors, he said.
Moving forward, The Cube plans to put more emphasis on its healthy, to-go food items. The company also has developed a smartphone app that allows customers to order items from their phone.
"We need to retool the stores and refit the stores, and we are also going to introduce a lot more tech into the stores," Breedlove said.
The company plans to open 10 locations in the Dallas market over an 18-month period beginning in 2017 and already has secured locations for the new Texas stores, Breedlove said.
"Then we will come back into the Oklahoma City market," he said. "Our goal is to do the same thing in 2018 by opening multiple units in the Oklahoma City market."
A group of investors, including retired Navy pharmacist Joe Lawrence, contractor Steve Rich and tobacco shop operator Jake Sharp, launched The Cube in 2014.
The group opened the first 3,000-square-foot prototype Cube store on W Main Street just west of N Berry Road in Norman in December 2014. The store offered customers everything from lattes and cappuccinos, as well as fresh food items and groceries ranging from cosmetics, milk and diapers, all delivered through the drive-thru.