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Laid-Off Employee Files Lawsuit Against Foxtrot After Sudden Store Closures

Class-action suit seeks damages, relief over failure to provide notice, compensation required under Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act
Photo courtesy of Foxtrot

An employee who was laid off Tuesday when Outfox Hospitality very abruptly shuttered its Foxtrot and Dom’s Kitchen & Market stores has filed a class-action lawsuit against the company on behalf of himself and other affected employees.

Urban convenience-store and delivery chain Foxtrot Market had 33 locations in Chicago, Washington, D.C., Dallas and Austin, Texas. Dom’s, a small-format grocery chain, had two locations in Chicago.

Outfox Hospitality began closing all of the stores on April 23, less than six months after the Foxtrot and Dom’s brands merged, forming a new entity, Outfox Hospitality.

“We explored many avenues to continue the business but found no viable option despite good faith and exhaustive efforts,” Dom's shared in a statement to Dom's and Foxtrot customers on its website.

Representatives from Chicago-based Outfox did not respond to CSP requests for comment.

The plaintiff, Jamil Ladell Moore, filed the suit against defendants Foxtrot Retail Inc., Outfox Hospitality LLC and Dom’s Market LLC. Moore and an estimated 1,000 other employees were not provided with the required 60-day notice under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) or Illinois Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (IWARN), according to court documents. Employees at all Foxtrot and Dom’s locations were terminated immediately on April 23 without any prior notice, the documents said, and several employees first learned of the mass layoff in the middle of their work shift on April 23.

None of the employees received pay or other compensation for the notice period, the documents said.

“This class-action suit seeks only damages and any other relief permitted under WARN and IWARN,” said the court documents. The plaintiff “reserves the right to expand, combine or subdivide the class definitions as warranted, as facts are learned in further investigation and discovery.”

The upscale c-store chain, which featured delivery services, sold a wide variety of convenience products, including freshly crafted chef-prepared meals, premium groceries, handpicked wine, snacks and sweets, personal care products and gifts. It also served as a neighborhood destination for local makers. Foxtrot had raised hundreds of millions of dollars in recent years to fuel its rapid expansion. 

Dom's Kitchen & Market was an omnichannel food experience providing guests a place to eat, drink, discover, shop and connect to their community. Its stores served as neighborhood hubs offering curated market products, chef-crafted meals and in-store dining. Additionally, Chicagoans could shop the stores and order meals online via Dom’s Go, for quick pickup or delivery.

Outfox named former Whole Foods Executive Vice President Rob Twyman as chief executive officer in February. Most recently, he was with nonprofit grocery chain Daily Table.

Twyman begins in his role as CEO on March 11 and succeeded Liz Williams, who has been named CEO of restaurant chain El Pollo Loco. Jay Owen and Bob Mariano, both co-founders and co-chairmen of Dom’s, and Mike LaVitola, co-founder of Foxtrot, maintained their advisor and board roles at Outfox. LaVitola was among CSP’s Indie Innovators in 2018 and a Power 20 executive in 2021.

The case is Moore v. Foxtrot Retail, Inc. et al, Docket No. 1:24-cv-03272 (N.D. Ill. Apr 24, 2024), Court Docket.

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