Foxtrot Market and Dom’s Kitchen & Market are closing abruptly six months after the merger

CHICAGO (CBS) — Two Chicago-based grocery chains, Dom’s Kitchen & Market and Foxtrot Market, suddenly closed their stores on Tuesday.

This came six months after the chains announced a merger.

“It is with heavy hearts that we must inform you of a difficult decision we have had to make. After much consideration and evaluation, we regret to announce that Foxtrot and Dom’s Kitchen & Market will be closing their doors effective April 23, 2024” , Dom’s Kitchen & Market wrote in a post on their website. “We have explored many options to continue the business, but despite good faith and exhaustive efforts, have not found a viable option.”

In November, Dom’s – a pair of upscale supermarkets – and Foxtrot – a luxury supermarket chain – announced that they would merge under the new entity Outfox Hospitality.

Every Dom’s and Foxtrot store will be closed Tuesday. Delivery was halted, mobile apps went dark, and store credit cards were disconnected.

All Foxtrot and Dom account credits and member benefits have been voided effective Tuesday.

The closure affects both the Dom’s locations in Chicago and all 33 Foxtrot stores in Chicago; Austin and Dallas, Texas; and the Washington DC area.

“This decision has not been taken lightly and we understand the impact this will have on you, our loyal customers, as well as our dedicated team members. We would like to express our sincere thanks for your support and support over the years. It has been our highest honor to take the mundane to the next level and create a remarkable shopping experience for people who love food as much as we do.

Employees, customers shocked by sudden closure

The closures have left hundreds unemployed.

Monica Perez worked at the Lincoln Park Dom’s at 2730 N. Halsted St. A few years ago, an entire strip mall that had recently housed a combination of Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin Robbins, a Massage Envy and a Performance Bicycle store was completely overhauled. to make way for the new Dom’s.

Now the store that housed that new building is suddenly bankrupt — and Perez is out of a job.

“We just got here and apparently everything is closing down,” Monica Perez said, “so a lot of people – everyone here – are out of work right now.”

Perez and her colleagues reminisced Tuesday afternoon outside the Dom’s store in Lincoln Park. The store was regularly full of people buying expensive things – a signal to the employees of a strong future.

Instead, all employees were blinded before starting work.

“I didn’t even get a call from a manager,” Perez said. “I showed up like a normal day.”


Dom’s Kitchen, Foxtrot abruptly close


Customers who see the workers every day were shocked by the sudden news.

“This is like family,” Amy Tanner said. “So it’s really sad. We’re really sad for the employees.”

Amy and Matt Tanner’s daily shopping routines are also turned upside down.

“Shocked and really upset,” Amy Tanner said. “You know, we literally just come here to decide what to have for dinner every night.”

There were no signs at all of the impending closures, employees said. There were only signs on the door: each store had its own.

A sign at a Foxtrot store at 1019 W. Lake St. read: “As of today, we are closed for the last time. Thank you for the time we had together.” A hand-drawn sign next to it featured a headstone that read “RIP Foxtrot.”

The Tanners were confused by the abrupt closure. Social media posts showed that Dom’s in Lincoln Park was even open for part of the day Tuesday before all stores closed.

In a TikTok video Tuesday afternoon, two young women who appeared to work at a Foxtrot in East Lakeview reported discovering they were losing their jobs just hours into their shifts — and while customers were still inside. They said the customers were all asked to leave, and the store promptly went out of business – with a handwritten sign reading “Closed for good.”

Meanwhile, at the North Foxtrot River, merchandise was being dragged out by the truckload and stuffed into vehicle trunks. Kevin O’Brien also found out he didn’t have a job because of a sign on the window at the Foxtrot location.

I think they definitely could have given us a little more notice,” O’Brien said. “Now I’m just sad and unemployed.”

“We’ll see what happens, if this is a reorganization or if there’s just something going on financially, but it’s a little weird that they’re kicking everyone out and closing it down,” Matt Tanner said. “It’s a bit weird.”

Meanwhile, Perez and other now-unemployed workers wondered what the future would hold for them as their salaries soon expire.

“I don’t have a job right now,” Perez said. “Now I have to go back and get a job.”

Foxtrot, Dom’s Kitchen & Market suddenly go bankrupt


Suppliers were also surprised

The announcement also came as a surprise to local businesses that had been supplying Foxtrot and Dom’s with food.

“We just delivered yesterday,” said Michael Ciapciak, owner of Big Bang Pie, which also has its own store in Logan Square.

Ciapciak said Foxtrot and Dom also failed to notify him. They were one of his biggest customers.

“It’s disheartening, you know. We’re going to be OK,” Ciapciak said. “We are happy to have this store location.”

Representatives of a number of local companies that supply goods to Foxtrot and Dom’s said they will now have to try to get back the money they are owed for recent orders.

According to the lawyer, the closure may violate labor law

Some employees are also starting to have questions about whether the company gave them proper notice. Under Illinois state law, employers must notify the state when they plan to lay off employees as part of the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act.

“It appears that these employees were given less than a minute’s notice,” said Laura Feldman, an employment attorney at The Prinz Law Firm.

Under Illinois’ WARN Act, employers with 75 employees or more must provide 60 days’ written notice of any closure or mass layoff. Apparently that didn’t happen.

“What strikes me is a possible violation of the WARN Act,” Feldman said.

Feldman said federal and state laws protect workers in such scenarios. In fact, last month a judge has rewarded Signature Room employees on top of the former John Hancock Center, more than $1.5 million in delinquencies – after the iconic restaurant and lounge closed abruptly in September 2023 without proper notice to the employees.

Dom’s launched in Chicago in June 2021 in Lincoln Park as a new concept from Bob Mariano, founder of Mariano’s grocery store chain in Chicago. Their second location opened in November 2022 in Old Town.

Described as the “newest, next-generation local food emporium,” Dom’s was a small-scale grocery store that focused on specialty items, prepared foods, and locally sourced produce. The stores also featured wine tastings, cooking demonstrations, coffee shops, and wine and beer for customers to drink while they shopped.


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