HomeTop StoriesThe retailer that was supposed to supply hats to Foxtrot is instead...

The retailer that was supposed to supply hats to Foxtrot is instead selling them to help ex-employees leave the market

CHICAGO (CBS) — Earlier this spring, Foxtrot Market supermarket ordered 600 baseball caps from local clothing and gift store Alice & Wonder – only to abruptly go bankrupt shortly afterwards.

In an Instagram video, Alice & Wonder owner Ali Reff said Foxtrot first approached her company two years ago and asked them to design a hat for the opening of their Wrigleyville store. Foxtrot also placed Alice & Wonder merchandise in its stores across the city.

The promotions were a success, so this year Foxtrot asked Alice & Wonder to design another hat to promote the launch of Foxtrot’s hot dog chips.

Alice & Wonder came up with a navy blue hat that reads “Locals Only” and features an image of a Chicago-style hot dog with all the trimmings – similar to the Chicago hot dog image familiar to generations of Chicagoans from Vienna Beef iconography.

Alice & Wonder

Alice & Wonder ordered 660 hats, Reff said in the video. But on April 23, they found out that Foxtrot Market and Dom’s Kitchen & Market were going out of business immediately.

Reff said in the Instagram video that Alice & Wonder received an email at 3 p.m. that day that said, “Thanks for being a seller,” with no payment information.

“The way we look at it, we had an opportunity here to turn lemons into lemonade,” Reff says.

A concerned neighbor set up a GoFundMe for the employees of the Foxtrot store on Southport Avenue in Lakeview – all of whom had abruptly lost their jobs. Reff said Alice & Wonder has decided to sell the “Locals Only” hats and donate 100% of the proceeds back to GoFundMe.

The hats were sold out on Thursday evening. Alice & Wonder said it could donate more than $10,000 to GoFundMe.

Alice & Wonder has locations at 3542 N. Southport Ave. in Lakeview and 956 W. Webster Ave. in Lincoln Park. There is also a Mini Wonder store with products for babies and toddlers at 3527 N. Southport Ave. – across the street from the main Southport Avenue location.

Foxtrot and Dom’s had announced a merger under parent company Outfox Hospitality six months before the abrupt closures.

The closures affected Dom’s Chicago locations as well as all 33 Foxtrot stores in Chicago, Texas and the Washington DC area.

Delivery was halted, mobile apps went dark, and store credit cards were disconnected. All Foxtrot and Dom account credits and member benefits were voided, effective the day the stores closed.

Some employees said they found out the stores were closed when they came to work on Tuesday, April 23. Two young women who worked at Foxtrot at Broadway and Diversey Parkway posted a TikTok video saying they found out the business was closing and they lost their money. jobs in the middle of their shift.

They said the customers were still inside at the time and they all had to leave, and the store promptly went out of business – with a handwritten sign reading “Closed for good.”

CBS 2 also discovered that Foxtrot did not tell the state of Illinois that it was closing until the day after it happened. The Illinois Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act requires employers to give employees 60 days’ notice of mass layoffs.

Combined, nearly 350 people who had worked at Foxtrot and Dom’s lost their jobs in Illinois, while hundreds of others also lost their jobs at Foxtrot locations across the country.

A federal lawsuit filed after the closure seeks class action status for all Dom’s and Foxtrot employees and demands 60 days of severance and benefits for terminated employees.

This week, Foxtrot and Dom’s filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, according to documents filed in Delaware bankruptcy court.

Under its Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing, parent company Outfox Hospitality reported an estimated number of creditors between 5,000 and 10,000. The filing listed the company’s estimated assets as between $10 million and $50 million and reported estimated liabilities in the same range.

In such a filing, a company closes assets and sells them to pay creditors, compared to Chapter 11, which allows a company to reorganize while it devises a plan to pay off its debts.

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