CHICAGO — Foxtrot Market, with eight convenience stores in Chicago and two in Dallas, said it plans to double its store count by the end of 2021 through a $42 million round of Series B growth funding.
The round was led by David Barber’s Almanac Insights and Monogram Capital Partners. Backers also include food and hospitality industry players David Chang, founder of the Momofuku restaurant and culinary brand; Nicolas Jammet, co-founder and chief concept officer of the sweetgreen fast-casual salad concept; and Walter Robb, former CEO of Whole Foods.
Additional investors in Foxtrot’s Series B round include Imaginary Ventures, Wittington Ventures, Fifth Wall, Lerer Hippeau, Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, M3 Ventures, The University of Chicago, Collaborative Fund, Wasson Enterprise, Bluestein Ventures and Barshop Ventures.
The upscale c-store chain, which features delivery services, previously announced plans to open two stores in Washington, D.C., in March.
Growth will include adding as many as nine stores in Chicago and Dallas and expanding into new markets. The chain will also use the funds to expand its line of private-label packaged goods and gift offerings, and to continue the investment into nationwide shipping, which it launched in January. It is accelerating its e-commerce capabilities and offering nationwide shipping on items such as chef-driven packaged products, private-label and exclusive-to-Foxtrot goods and wine.
“Foxtrot is leading the way in the long overdue re-platforming of the convenience channel, creating an environment that is both a third place for meetings and community engagement and an incredibly easy on-demand convenience offering across both physical retail and omnichannel delivery,” said Jared Stein, co-founder and partner of Monogram. “The company was built for where the consumer is moving in terms of providing a small format store for all of a customer’s essentials, and a few bonus items that you can’t find anywhere else, elevating the curation with its own best-in-class proprietary offerings.”
Additionally, Foxtrot has made three new appointments to its executive team: Sumi Ghosh, COO, joining the company from Starbucks; Scott Holloway, senior vice president of delivery, joining from Instacart; and Caroline Barry, vice president of strategy, joining from sweetgreen.
“With this new round of funding and an incredibly strong executive team now fully in place, we see 2021 as a year of tremendous growth for Foxtrot,” said CEO and Co-founder Mike LaVitola. “We have built a business that marries the local approach of a corner store with the convenience of ecommerce. We know how our stores operate best and in which markets, which is where we’ll be going deep with our expansion efforts next. We also look forward to showcasing to customers coast-to-coast what Foxtrot is all about as we continue to rollout shipping nationwide.”
Launched in 2014, Foxtrot combines an upscale corner store and cafe with app-based purchasing that makes its entire inventory available for delivery in under an hour. Foxtrot derives its revenue equally between online sales and in-store purchases, it said. The brand’s delivery model has been central to its customer service strategy since inception, making Foxtrot uniquely positioned for strength during the pandemic. In 2020, company sales increased over 100% fueled by consistent year-over-year growth across channels. Of that growth, 55% derives from retail, largely from same-stores sales, and over 200% from ecommerce, driven by 100% increase in app downloads.
“Foxtrot has mastered giving their customers a seamless and convenient shopping experience--using innovation to meet guests where they are, when they want,” said David Barber, founder of Almanac. “Foxtrot’s commitment to building a sense of community in every market they enter by creating a space for both members of that neighborhood and local makers to test products and grow distribution is admirable. We’re proud to lead this latest investment round and be part of helping Foxtrot reimagine the future of the neighborhood corner store.”
In addition to grocery staples, Foxtrot stores offer a full-service cafe, sommelier-curated wine shop and gift bundles via on-demand delivery and in its tech-enabled brick and mortar stores. Select gift bundles are also currently available in Foxtrot’s Ship Shop, which will continue to add offerings as it expands its nationwide shipping capabilities.