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The Chicago Tribune reports that eight-store upscale convenience chain Foxtrot Market has plans to use $42 million in new investment money to open four more stores there, as well as units in Dallas and Washington, DC - largely taking advantage of storefront availabilities created by the pandemic.

Foxtrot is described as a unique format, combining prepared and specialty foods with a coffee shop and a delivery hub for online orders.   The Tribune writes that "in addition to new stores, Foxtrot also plans to invest in expanding its line of private label products," though it considers locally made products, like coffee from Metric Coffee and Half Acre beer, its 'lifeblood'."

Bloomberg describes the format this way:

"Foxtrot distinguishes itself with its hybrid, locavore model vs. your typical 7-Eleven. The shelves are stocked with products made by local artisans in addition to major consumer brands. In Chicago that will include coffee from Metric, Do-Rite’s old-fashioned doughnuts, and IPAs from Pipeworks Brewing. Customers order via an app.

"The chain also specializes in private label products, notably candy gummies. The best-selling online items are wine and ice cream; the average order is $50."

The company says that the pandemic has demonstrated the continued health of both the online an d offline business - while its online sales tripled in 2020, in-store sales grew 55 percent.

KC's View:

I've not been in a Foxtrot store to the best of my recollection, but I must admit I'm intrigued … it sounds like an interesting combination of formats built out from customer needs and desires.  Which, to my way of thinking, is the right way to go.