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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.

Will it work? Nordstrom is outperforming rivals like Macy's, but its same-store sales are still down 7% over the first half of the year, amid an industry-wide decline in in-store retail traffic. That said, there are a few reasons to be optimistic that going small could pay off:

  • Target began experimenting with small-formats in big cities and on college campuses, opening nine in 2014, and they have driven sales well enough that it is planning to open hundreds more in the coming years. Nordstrom could be looking at Target's experience as a way to attract younger shoppers in dense, urban areas.
  • According to Cowen analyst Oliver Chen, Nordstrom is reaping the rewards of e-commerce investments from years ago. It now makes 25% of its overall sales online, and the Nordstrom Local concept could help drive more sales from customers who mainly shop online by adding convenience.

Go deeper

U.S. grants temporary protected status to thousands of Venezuelans

Venezuelan citizens participate in the vote for the popular consultation in December 2020, as part of a protest against Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro in Doral, Florida. Photo: Chandan Khanna/AFP

Venezuelans living in the United States will be eligible to receive temporary protected status for 18 months, the Department of Homeland Security announced Monday.

Why it matters: Tens of thousands of Venezuelans have fled to the U.S. amid economic, political and social turmoil back home. Former President Trump, on his last full day in office, granted some protections to Venezuelans through the U.S. Deferred Enforced Departure program, but advocates and lawmakers said the move didn't go far enough.

"She-cession" threatens economic recovery

Illustration: Sarah Grillo

Decades of the slow economic progress women made catching up to men evaporated in just one year.

Why it matters: As quickly as those gains were erased, it could take much, much longer for them to return — a warning Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen issued today.

The Week America Changed

Sandberg thought Zuckerberg was "nuts" on remote work in January 2020

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Paul Marotta/Getty Image

Chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg thought Mark Zuckerberg was "nuts" when he raised the possibility in January 2020 that 50,000 Facebook employees might have to work from home. By March 6, they were.

Why it matters: In an interview Monday with Axios Re:Cap, Sandberg explained how Facebook moved quickly to respond to the pandemic with grants for small businesses and work-from-home stipends for its employees, and how the company has been watching the unfolding crisis for women in the workforce.