CHICAGO—In March, as states began issuing stay-at-home edicts, retailers began turning to online ordering to stay in business with many dabbling in e-commerce for the first time. One retailer, the 10-unit convenience store chain Foxtrot Market, simply returned to its online roots, Grocery Dive reports.
In 2013, Foxtrot Market opened as an online retailer two years prior to opening its first brick-and-mortar store. Pre-pandemic, delivery constituted half of the company’s revenue, making it easy to step up its online ordering, said CEO Mike LaVitola. “We were set up really well in terms of systems because [e-commerce] is a core part of our business,” he said.
Foxtrot Market has its own delivery fleet and a real-time inventory system that ties the stores and the online shop together. The company did have to push forward an in-store pickup service that had been waiting in the wings. The stores shut down in-store dining and lounging areas, transitioning those spaces into storage for packaged products and grab-and-go meals. Store baristas and other personnel received training in how to pack online orders.
The chain also put its entire foodservice menu online for delivery and pickup. Previously, only a selection of the menu could be ordered to-go. “We really focused on pivoting our ops to even more of a traditional grocer than we planned,” LaVitola said.
For more on Foxtrot’s delivery services, see “Labor and Delivery” in the April 2020 issue of NACS Magazine.
NACS has compiled resources to help the convenience retail community navigate the COVID-19 crisis. For news updates and guidance, visit our coronavirus resources page.