Sports Authority launched a smaller, more upscale offshoot called S.A. Elite last year and would like to open hundreds more locations nationwide.
Gap Inc. has reportedly been shrinking the average size of its Old Navy stores from about 25,000 square feet to 10,000 square feet.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has two small concepts in the works. It is rebranding its Walmart Neighborhood Markets (above) as Walmart Markets and also will soon open its first Walmart Express locations.
Best Buy is slowing the pace of expansion of its full-line stores, but plans to open 150 Best Buy Mobile stores in 2011.
Target Corp. last month announced plans to open its first CityTarget stores next year. The concept will range in size from 60,000 square feet to 100,000 square feet.
Staples now sells a greater percentage of its items online than at brick and mortar stores. So it is planning to open a slew of smaller stores in the coming years.
British retail giant Tesco helped pioneer the small big-box trend when it entered the U.S. market in 2007. It operated 168 stores in the Southwest as of the end of September 2010.