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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

Updated 10 hours ago - Sports

The potential GOAT of chess faces intriguing challenger

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The World Chess Championship between Norway's Magnus Carlsen and Russia's Ian Nepomniachtchi began on Friday, 1,094 days after Carlsen won his fourth consecutive title.

Why it matters: During the long, COVID-fueled layoff, chess entered a new era, and with the championship finally here, the age-old game is ready for its close-up.

Department of Interior proposes raising cost of drilling on public lands

A horizontal drilling rig and a pump jack sit on federal land in Lea County, New Mexico. Photo: Callaghan O'Hare/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Oil and gas companies should pay more to drill on federal lands and waters, the Department of the Interior argued in a report released Friday, saying that the current rates were "outdated."

Driving the news: The Department of Interior report said that the federal government's oil and gas leasing and permitting program "fails to provide a fair return to taxpayers, even before factoring in the resulting climate-related costs that must be borne by taxpayers."

11 hours ago - Health

U.S. to restrict air travel from 8 countries over new COVID variant concerns

A COVID-19 vaccine is administered. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The U.S. will impose new air travel restrictions in response to the Omicron variant, a new COVID strain first detected in South Africa, President Biden announced Friday.

The big picture: Air travel from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi will be restricted starting on Monday.