Is Foxtrot primed for major expansion?
Foxtrot recently secured $100 million in new funding with plans to open 50 locations over the next two years as it seeks to “modernize the nostalgic corner store experience” with a focus on discovery, local and digital.
The company, described by Winsight Grocery Business as a “label-defying hybrid of urban convenience store, local market and café,” launched in 2014 as a digital-only delivery service and has opened 16 locations across Chicago, Dallas and D.C., leveraging its stores as delivery hubs. Foxtrot will enter Austin and Boston in 2022 and New York, Nashville and Miami in 2023.
A primary differential is its “highly curated merchandising strategy” that features core pantry essentials, favorite treats and hand-picked wines, spirits and local beers. Nearly a quarter of all shelf space is dedicated to locally sourced items from neighborhood artisans and to emerging purveyors to support discovery.
Carla Dunham, Foxtrot’s chief marketing officer, said at a recent NRF Big Show session, according to Zipline, “We’re disruptors but we’re also being disrupted, so at any given month, 10 to 15 percent of our product is new.”
Plans call for deeper private label assortments that cater to mealtimes, expanding on its core offerings of coffee, ready-to-eat cafe meals and wine.
The digital-first focus is reflected in its five-minute pickup option, 30-minute local delivery and its national shipping platform, Foxtrot Anywhere, promoted foremost online. To support its omnichannel expansion, Foxtrot plans to triple its engineering team and invest in hires in logistics, store payments, inventory management, personalization and Perks, Foxtrot’s loyalty program.
The ramped-up store openings reflect Foxtrot’s belief that the pandemic has heightened the appeal of community and local discovery. In 2021, Foxtrot’s five-minute market pickup and cafe orders grew 250 percent and 375 percent, respectively.
Mike LaVitola, Foxtrot’s co-founder and CEO, told TechCrunch, “The biggest trend we have seen is customers fully leaning into the retail experience and for that to be the main customer acquisition point for the online business. Delivery is here to stay, but customers are ultimately seeing the value of our merchandise. As a result, we are spending 90 percent of our time on that in-person experience, obsessing over who has the best donuts, coffee or tortillas.”
- Foxtrot Raises $100 Million Series C To Accelerate National Retail Expansion Of Its Digital-First, Omnichannel Corner Store – Foxtrot/PRNewswire
- Foxtrot to Waltz Into New Markets With $100M in Fresh Funding – Winsight Grocery Business
- Highlights from NRF: The crossroads of convenience and conscience – Zipline
- Flush with new capital, Foxtrot’s ‘convenience store of the future’ is coming to a location near you – TechCrunch
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Has the in-store experience during the pandemic become a more important driver of customer acquisition for digital-first players such as Foxtrot? How would you rate Foxtrot’s growth potential?