Tech-enabled convenience store chain Foxtrot has revealed $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 joining historical investors Lerer Hippeau and Revolution. The Series C brings Foxtrot’s total funding to $160 million.
Since launching as a digital-only delivery service in 2014, Foxtrot has opened 16 brick-and-mortar locations across Chicago, Dallas and Washington, D.C., each offering rapid on-demand delivery and five-minute pickup; rolled out a national shipping platform, Foxtrot Anywhere; and introduced cutting-edge technology to support its omnichannel operating model.
The company will use this fresh influx of capital to open 25 new stores in 2022, which will include moving into Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood and Austin, Texas, with two stores, on South First and The Drag, in addition to locations in Chicago’s Willis Tower and Tribune Tower and near Wrigley Field. In 2023 and beyond, Foxtrot will continue expanding to such new markets as New York, Nashville and Miami, while also growing its presence in current regions.
The chain will also focus on scaling its merchandising model, which combines the products of local artisans with core pantry staples, favorite treats, and hand-selected wines, spirits and local beers. Driven by customer demand, Foxtrot is additionally investing in a deeper private label assortment in regard to mealtimes, leaning into its core offerings of coffee, ready-to-eat cafe meals and wine, which are all optimized for both delivery and pickup. The company plans to allocate nearly a quarter of all shelf space to locally sourced items from neighborhood artisans and emerging suppliers, as well as create and launch about 200 new private label SKUS, expanding on current favorite product lines and entering completely new categories. The company’s first private label products debuted last year.
Further, to continue honing its internally developed omnichannel operating system, Foxtrot will prioritize hiring engineering experts, with a plan to triple the team’s size over the next year, bringing aboard people to optimize logistics, store payments, inventory management, personalization and Perks, its 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 Mike LaVitola, co-founder and CEO of Chicago-based 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 evolved amid the pandemic, Foxtrot’s omnichannel shopping, backed by Perks, has grown 110% year to date, while its five-minute market pickup has grown 250% this year, with cafe orders within the channel increasing an impressive 375% year to date. With further investments in personalization and omnichannel capabilities, the company will work on further fostering customer loyalty to spur effective customer acquisition, deepen engagement across its offerings, and encourage stickier customer behavior.
“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 Beverly Hills, Calif.-based Monogram Capital and a 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.”