New Concept Elevates Convenience to 'Concierge'

NORMAN, Okla. -- This Oklahoma town is the test site for a new concept in convenience retailing called the Cube. The retail outlet, which will be drive-thru only, is slated to open in October.

"'Convenience store' seems like such a dirty word these days," company co-founder Jake Sharp told The Oklahoman. "Neighborhood concierge is the best thing we could come up with."

According to the news outlet, the new store will offer lattes and cappuccinos, as well as fresh food items such as pastries, sandwiches, wraps and pizza. The Cube will also sell health and beauty and grocery items. Customers will be able to order items from their smartphones using a mobile app, and have those items waiting for pickup.

Sharp is no stranger to retail -- he owns two drive-thru tobacco shops in Lawton, Okla. He told the newspaper that he saw demand for a store that was targeted at customers who don't want to get out of their cars to grab a gallon of milk or diapers.

To make the Cube a reality, Sharp is partnering with Joe Lawrence, who serves as CEO, and contractor Steve Rich.

"The idea behind the Cube is that we are going to put up nice, new, good-looking structures that are drive-thru only and carry items catering to the communities they are in," Lawrence said. "We started talking about what is really convenient about a convenience store, and there are a lot of things that aren't very convenient."

The modern architecture style of the Cube was chosen to get away from the look and feel of a traditional convenience store. The business hopes to expand to multiple locations across the metro area after testing the concept at its first location in Norman, Lawrence said.

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