Skip to main content Retailers finding success with small-format stores

Bloomie’s, Westfield Old Orchard, Skokie, Ill. (Photo courtesy of Bloomingdale’s)

Bigger isn’t always better when it comes to store size.

That’s according to a new report from titled “Small Format Stores — Sprouting, Blooming and Expanding,” which said that small-format stores which offer consumers more convenient and localized shopping experiences are on the rise. 

The study specifically focuses on the success being found by Sprouts Farmers Market, Macy’s Inc. (Bloomingdale's) and BJ’s Wholesale Club with smaller stores.


The report finds that Sprouts Farmers Market’s small-format stores have seen foot traffic grow by nearly 50% between January 2022 and May 2024, far outpacing the company’s normal-sized stores and grocery stores overall. 

“By focusing on customer acquisition through smaller accessible stores, Sprouts is successfully meeting the demand for convenience and sustainability,” the report stated. “And as a pioneer in the small-format grocery space, Sprouts is setting a high bar for other grocery chains like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, who are rolling out their own smaller convenience-style locations.

Advertisement - article continues below


Macy's experimentation with a small-format, highly-curated version of Bloomingdale’s store, called “Bloomie’s,” has helped it attract new audience segments —  in particular those in urban areas.  With three locations nationwide — and a fourth set to open this fall in New Jersey —Bloomie’s features a mix of established and emerging brands and trendy pop-ups tailored to local tastes. 

Compared to Bloomingdale’s full-size locations, visitors to the Bloomie’s in Skokie, Ill., in May 2024 came from areas with higher shares of urbanites,

“This indicates that Bloomie’s appeals to city dwellers – aligning with Bloomingdale’s goal of providing a contemporary, accessible, and convenient shopping experience in urban settings,” the report said.


In May 2022, BJ’s Wholesale Club opened “BJ’s Market,” a small-format location in Warwick, R.I., that’s roughly half the size of a full-sized club location. During the first five months of 2024, the Warwick store experienced consistent year-over-year visit growth – outperforming the chain’s already-impressive state- and nationwide averages over nearly the entire analyzed period.  

“BJ’s testing of the Warwick small-format location proves that wholesale can be extended beyond endless roaming through enormous big box stores in search for the best value bargain, the report noted. “There is a clear demand for a quicker, more frequent and more efficient shopping experience in the wholesale space, and BJ’s is seizing the opportunity.-


To read the full report, click here

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds