May 20, 2024 - News

Foxtrot may reopen closed stores in Chicago

Photo of people walking in front of a store with a sign saying "Foxtrot"

The Wicker Park Foxtrot in 2021. Photo: John J. Kim/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Nearly one month after abruptly closing 33 stores in Chicago, Texas, and Washington, D.C., some Foxtrot stores reportedly may reopen.

Why it matters: More than 300 retail employees at Foxtrot and Dom's Markets were suddenly out of work after management told them on April 23 to shut the stores' doors by noon, with some claiming they learned the news from social media.

  • Local vendors were also left with questions about whether they'd get paid for outstanding invoices.

Driving the news: The Real Deal reported over the weekend that the venture capitalist firm that purchased assets of Outfox Hospitality LLC, the parent company of Foxtrot and Dom's, is working with Foxtrot founder Mike LaVitola to reopen some stores in Chicago and Texas.

  • The blog Snaxshot also reported that former employees were getting messages about being rehired.

Catch up quick: Outfox filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy last week in Delaware, listing their assets and liabilities each between $10-50 million.

  • Almost immediately after the closures last month, former employees filed lawsuits against the company, accusing it of violating the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act, which requires companies to give 60 days notice before a mass layoff.

Between the lines: Chapter 7 bankruptcy means a company's assets are liquidated in an effort to pay back creditors, while Chapter 11 allows a company to reorganize its business and come up with a plan to pay off debt.

State of play: Some local building owners of former Foxtrot locations don't want the store back, telling the Real Deal they've moved on to other ventures. Others told the Real Deal that the company owes them rent for April.

What they're saying: One former Foxtrot accountant who worked for the company from 2021 to 2022 in Chicago, says an overhaul on the business end will need to be made before any relaunch.

  • "There were no controls over spending," the former employee told Axios. "They would always just buy the most random sh-t … but we wouldn't be able to sell it. So we would just end up with a bunch of crap in the basement."

The other side: Foxtrot's former head of HR and the lawyer representing Outfox in the bankruptcy did not return Axios' calls for comment.

What's next: Local vendors who sold their goods at Foxtrot and Dom's will be at Andale Market in Andersonville on Sunday for a pop-up sale.

avatar

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Chicago.

More Chicago stories