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What has a bar, 8 dressing rooms, but no merchandise?

A Nordstrom sign is seen at a shopping mall in Brea, Calif. (Jae C. Hong/AP)

Luxury-retailer Nordstrom's next store in Los Angeles will be a mere speck compared with the 140,000 square feet of the typical department outlet. It will span just 3,000 square feet when it opens next month.

The store, to be called Nordstrom Local, will operate as a venue for consulting with stylists and picking up, trying on, and returning items bought online, and that Nordstrom has sourced from area department stores or warehouses. Items ordered before 2 p.m. will be available for pickup at Nordstrom Local that day, the company says.

Why it matters: With eight dressing rooms, onsite tailoring, a wine-and-beer bar — but no actual merchandise — it adds detail to a trend in which department stores are turning to smaller format outlets to cut costs, reach out to urban shoppers, and compete with e-retailers.