Foxtrot, the hybrid corner store, cafe and delivery retail market with 13 locations throughout Chicago, Dallas and Washington, D.C., announced July 20 a mass expansion that includes an additional 50 new stores within the next two years.
The expansion also includes new markets for Foxtrot, with stores planned for New York City; Austin and Houston, Texas; Boston; Miami, Fla.; and Los Angeles. Meanwhile, stores are slated to open later this year in Chicago's Gold Coast, D.C.’s Dupont Circle and Old Town Alexandria in Virginia.
New store formats will be twice as large as Foxtrot’s earliest models and feature expansive on-premise dining, enhanced cafe menus and in-store merchandising that leans into and anticipates trends within the CPG landscape, the Chicago-based retailer said in a release. Foxtrot hired former Momofuku Executive Chef Tae Strain earlier this year to lead its culinary development. Around the same time, it also hired Mitch Madoff, former VP of exclusive brands for Whole Foods Market, as its SVP of private label and supply chain.
Foxtrot’s new stores will also offer an “a.m. to p.m. neighborhood experience” that includes locally roasted espresso in the morning, discovery-based shopping throughout the day and a wine shop and bustling bar in the evening, in addition to its signature 30-minute delivery and 5-minute pickup services.
"We first introduced ourselves to customers through online-only, rapid-delivery of our dream convenience store,” said Mike LaVitola, co-founder and CEO of Foxtrot, in a release. “In the years since, we've realized the pivotal role the physical shops play within neighborhoods. There's no better way to spark discovery than by browsing shelves, and no better platform to elevate local makers than giving them a home in the neighborhood.”
About 40% of Foxtrot’s stock consists of small and local businesses, it said. And while it bills itself as “the convenience store of the future,” Foxtrot’s assortment includes everyday grocery essentials—a category it said “had a blowout sales year” as more people were eating at home during the pandemic. Foxtrot said it has managed to take the 100% year-over-over sales growth and maintain sales even as consumers return to work, restaurants and the like.
“As consumer preferences shifted online this past year and delivery soared, we were fortunate to see our stores continue to thrive, and act as true hubs of the community when people were seeking connection,” LaVitola continued. “In an increasingly digital world, and especially as we exit the pandemic, we believe retail will continue to thrive if done right—beautiful spaces, tailored to the neighborhood, highlighting local makers and artisans, and providing a friendly, warm gathering space for all. We can’t wait for new cities across the country to experience the Foxtrot difference.”
To date, Foxtrot said it has received $65 million in funding. In February, the venture-backed retailer closed a $42 million Series B investment round that it said would support expansion into D.C.—its two stores there opened in March—as well as new stores in Chicago and Dallas this year.
Chicago-based Foxtrot, an upscale corner store/cafe that recently announced plans to double its footprint in 2021 thanks in part to a fresh round of funding, opened the doors to its first store in Washington, D.C, and its 11th store overall.
The store at 1267 Wisconsin Ave. NW opened March 1, bringing under-an-hour delivery, local beers and fine wines, chef-prepared meals, curated gifts, everyday essentials and more to the Georgetown neighborhood it serves.
Foxtrot, which also has stores in Chicago and Dallas, will open a second store in D.C., at 650 Massachusetts Ave. NW in the Mount Vernon Triangle neighborhood, on March 22. "Our D.C. openings are the culmination of several years exploring neighborhoods, meeting with local makers, and tasting all the best this amazing city has to offer,” said Foxtrot co-founder and CEO Mike LaVitola. “We're looking forward to introducing our unique blend of curation and convenience to Washingtonians.”
Click through to tour the store.
The Georgetown store features a high-performance coffee bar, an extensive selection of beer and wine curated by Foxtrot’s in-house sommelier, and an all-day cafe offering seasonal chef-prepared foods, including a mapo tofu bowl and pork and chili tacos created exclusively for D.C. stores by locally celebrated chef Erik Bruner-Yang.
With every delivery order made March 1-2, Foxtrot will donate the delivery fees to the Power of 10 Initiative, the restaurant industry nonprofit initiative created by Bruner-Yang, whose mission is to bring restaurant workers back to work and provide access to food for those who need it the most.
Chef-prepared meals, including fresh salads made daily, are available for grab-and-go.
Foxtrot carefully curates its products and brands, with a focus on local. At the Georgetown neighborhood store, customers can find D.C.-known products such as Ice Cream Jubilee, Vigilante Coffee, Mason Dixie, Pluma by Bluebird Bakery, and Anxo Cider.
The store has an expansive floor plan, with plenty of seating for customers to enjoy a house-poured wine or cold beer from Foxtrot’s rotating tap selection. An outdoor patio area is another option for those hoping to stay a while.
Both Foxtrot locations in D.C. will be open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. They will open in compliance with the government’s social distancing guidelines while following the company’s current safety standards, which include mandatory face masks, glass dividers at coffee bars and 6-foot distance vinyl on floors.
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