- Upscale convenience store chain Foxtrot announced on Tuesday it plans to open 50 locations across the U.S. over the next two years. The expansion includes new markets like New York City, Boston, Miami, Los Angeles, Houston and Austin, Texas.
- The upcoming locations will be double the size of its current stores and feature on-site dining, revamped cafe menus and merchandising and assortment that emphasizes product discovery.
- The rapid expansion furthers Foxtrot’s plans to use $42 million of new funding from earlier this year to grow its geographic footprint in both existing markets as well as new ones.
Building on its announcement earlier this year outlining plans to increase store density in its existing three markets — Chicago, Dallas and Washington, D.C. — Foxtrot is now charting an expansion into new urban markets for its omnichannel retail model.
It's also rolling out updates to its physical and digital properties as it eyes its next growth chapter. Foxtrot's larger stores will play up product discovery, with an emphasis on local items, which currently make up around 40% of stores' assortment. The locations will emphasize in-store dining, as well, with "enhanced cafe menus" featuring dishes developed by former Momofuku executive chef Tae Strain, who Foxtrot recently hired as its corporate executive chef.
Stores will feature an in-store wine shop and bar to draw shoppers throughout the day and into the evening hours, and keep shoppers browsing by “merchandising more like a fashion brand than a convenience store,” according to Tuesday's announcement.
“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,” Mike LaVitola, co-founder and CEO of Foxtrot, said in a statement.
On the digital front, Foxtrot staffs its own delivery couriers that shuttle orders to consumers' homes within 30 minutes. Stores also now offer pickup service within five minutes, with the company's proprietary app powering the experience.
Foxtrot noted its omnichannel customers shop with the retailer an average of six times per month, with spending divided evenly between online and in-store.
The pandemic challenged Foxtrot's model as office buildings closed and consumers gravitated toward large stores and one-stop shopping. But the company's delivery service and shift to pickup helped it weather the storm, with overall sales doubling during the height of the global health crisis, a company spokesperson noted. As shoppers return to stores, retail sales are showing 100% year-over-year growth while online sales are growing at a 22% clip.
Foxtrot currently operates nine stores in the Chicago area and two each in Dallas and Washington, D.C. It plans to bring stores to neighborhoods like Chicago's Gold Coast, the District of Columbia’s Dupont Circle and Alexandria, Virginia’s Old Town historic district later this year.
The company brought on several new executives this year in roles that included chief operating officer, vice president of delivery and vice president of strategy, with experience ranging across high-profile companies like Starbucks, Sweetgreen and Instacart. In May, Foxtrot hired Mitch Madoff, who spent 20 years at Whole Foods, and Strain, who was a chef at restaurants in major metropolitan areas, to help expand its grocery and private label offerings.
Correction: A previous version of this story misstated Foxtrot's sales growth during the pandemic. Its overall sales doubled at the peak of the global health crisis, not its digital sales.