Foxtrot announced it received $100 million in Series C funding, led by D1 Capital Partners with continued participation from existing investors Monogram, Imaginary, Almanac, Wittington, Fifth Wall and Beliade and joined historical investors Lerer Hippeau and Revolution. The Series C brings total funding to $160 million.
Founded by Mike LaVitola and Taylor Bloom in 2014, Foxtrot was created to modernize the nostalgic corner store experience by creating a digital-first e-commerce platform paired with a retail experience that fulfills daily needs with local purveyors alongside new, trending brands from around the world.
Since launching first as a digital-only delivery service, Foxtrot has since opened 16 brick and mortar locations across Chicago, Dallas and Washington, D.C., each offering rapid, on-demand delivery and five-minute pickup; introduced a national shipping platform, called Foxtrot Anywhere; and pioneered technology to support its omnichannel operating model.
Leveraging the brand’s customer loyalty and regional cult followings, Foxtrot will use this fresh influx of capital to open 25 new stores in 2022, which will include entrance in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood and the brand’s debut in Austin, Texas with two stores, on South First and The Drag, plus notable openings in Chicago’s iconic Willis Tower, Tribune Tower and near Wrigley Field. In 2023 and beyond, Foxtrot will continue expansion to additional markets such as New York, Miami and Nashville, Tenn., while simultaneously also expanding its presence in current regions.
Foxtrot will also focus on scaling its proven merchandising model, which melds the best of local artisans with core pantry essentials; favorite treats; and hand-picked wines, spirits and local beers. Driven by customer demand, Foxtrot is also investing in a deeper private label assortment around meal times, doubling down on its core offerings of coffee, ready-to-eat cafe meals and wine, all optimized for both delivery and pickup.
To power its internally developed omnichannel operating system, Foxtrot will prioritize hiring engineering talent, with a plan to triple the team’s size over the next 12 months, bringing on dedicated hires to optimize logistics, store payments, inventory management, personalization and Perks, Foxtrot’s loyalty program.
“As we exit the pandemic and our lives continue to normalize following a challenging and eye-opening two years, we expect that retail and hospitality will become increasingly important in creating a sense of community and driving discovery in a world that’s been lacking this experience for quite some time,” said LaVitola, CEO of Foxtrot. “With this new round of funding, we’ll continue to accelerate the expansion of our brick and mortar presence, enter new and emerging markets and double down on new store formats that answer consumer demand for immersive programming and highly curated assortment. Our investments in technology will enhance our retail experience and drive omnichannel growth. We look forward to bringing Foxtrot to new neighborhoods and highlighting the small makers that make our industry so exciting.”
As shopping and dining habits have shifted in a post-pandemic world, Foxtrot’s omnichannel shopping, supported by Perks, has grown over 110% YTD. With further investments in personalization and omnichannel digital UX, Foxtrot will focus on further fostering customer loyalty to drive effective customer acquisition, deepen engagement across the whole suite of offerings and garner stickier customer behavior.
Foxtrot’s five-minute market pickup has grown 250% this year, with cafe orders within the channel increasing at an even faster clip — over 375% YTD.
“Foxtrot’s track record for creating neighborhood spaces that drive repeat visits and habitual purchase has made it a clear leader in trend prediction and understanding what the future of retail will look like,” said Jared Stein, co-founder of Monogram Capital and Foxtrot board member. “As Foxtrot expands its omnichannel footprint, the potential for scale on a national level is limitless as the brand looks to reimagine what convenience means to today’s consumer.”
As Foxtrot accelerates growth, its dedication to the core practices that made it a local favorite will remain of utmost importance. It will allocate nearly a quarter of all shelf space to locally sourced items from neighborhood artisans and to emerging purveyors.
After five years of working to reinvent the convenience and corner store experience and interacting with its loyal customers, Foxtrot identified a white space in CPG retail via its customer data: private label products rooted in deliciousness and design. Since introducing private label products one year ago, the assortment of Foxtrot branded and created labels now account for nearly 30% of all retail offerings, and nearly half of all brick and mortar and online sales.
Over the next year, Foxtrot plans to create and launch around 200 new private-label SKUS that will underscore the brand’s key category differentiator of brand creation and voice, expanding on the current favorite product lines and entertaining completely new categories. Foxtrot’s private label products will continue to serve as a complementary offering to the brand’s company lifeblood of emerging brand partners and local purveyors.