Flush With Cash, Upscale Convenience Store Foxtrot Accelerating Expansion
Foxtrot, an upmarket convenience store bringing boutique grocery brands to customers on-demand via a combination of e-commerce and physical stores, is opening four new Washington, D.C.-area locations before the end of the year, and is setting its sights on new markets in New York, Nashville and Miami.
The grocery chain, which bills itself as the “convenience store of the future” and offers order pickup within five minutes or delivery within 30 minutes, is pushing ahead with rapid expansion plans, fueled by a $100M Series C round this year, and $160M in total funding.
In June, Foxtrot announced intentions to open 50 new stores across the U.S. within two years, targeting New York City, Austin, Boston, Miami, Los Angeles and Houston in addition to cities where it already operates in Chicago, D.C. and Dallas. Half of those stores are expected to open before the end of this year — although Foxtrot currently had just 18 stores open across the U.S., Convenience Store News reported last month.
In a release this week announcing the new D.C. locations, Foxtrot said it hopes to expand to New York, Miami and Nashville in 2023 and launch its first store in Austin this year.
Foxtrot, which was founded in 2013 by Mike LaVitola and Taylor Bloom, straddles the trends of high-end grocery stores and convenience-focused delivery apps like Jokr and Getir. Rapid delivery apps have struggled to deliver on promises to investors despite their own rapid expansions in cities and suburbs across the country.
But luxe convenience stores have followed a vastly different trajectory since they launched almost 15 years ago. Millennial and Gen Z consumers are more willing to buy ready-made meals and craft beers, accelerating the success of upscale convenience stores and their expansion into urban areas, where they now increasingly target prime retail locations.
Foxtrot's newest locations in D.C. will be on 14th Street NW in the former Barrel House liquor store space, in Rosslyn at a new development, its first Maryland store in Bethesda and a smaller, grab-and-go location near the White House along Farragut Square.
One month prior to the pandemic, Foxtrot had raised just $17M, TechCrunch reported at the time. But the chain saw its foot traffic go up once the pandemic hit, as people working from home incorporated grocery store visits into their routines. Foxtrot then raised $42M in another funding round last February, Supermarket News reported.
Following that funding round, Foxtrot went on to make several splashy hires: former Starbucks and Aramark Vice President Sumi Ghosh, former Instacart executive Scott Holloway and former Sweetgreen Strategy Director Caroline Barry took C-suite and vice president positions at Foxtrot.
Last May, the chain also hired Whole Foods’ former executive vice president Mitch Madoff as a senior vice president of private label, accelerating its plans to bring big-name brands to its stores. Currently, Foxtrot's in-house products account for 30% of its offerings and half its sales, according to reporting from Chain Store Age.