The blue box is shrinking.
Tiffany & Co. will test a new concept in Glendale this fall with its first smaller-scale store, the high-end jeweler said Thursday.
The 2,600-square-foot space -- Tiffany's 46 existing stores average 7,100 square feet -- will open in October in the Americana at Brand, a retail and residential center under construction across from the Glendale Galleria shopping mall.
If the smaller-store concept succeeds, it could give Tiffany an opportunity to expand its U.S. store base to 170. Tiffany said in a statement that the smaller stores gave it "the potential to significantly accelerate U.S. sales growth over the medium to long-term and enhance profitability."
The launch of a more-compact Tiffany, with most of the smaller stores averaging 2,000 square feet, is an attempt to "introduce more people to the brand," said David Schick, an analyst with Stifel Nicolaus who covers Tiffany. He added that smaller stores have financial advantages, such as lower inventory requirements.
Schick said the smaller stores would have a greater focus on silver jewelry and won't sell engagement rings or "high-priced statement jewelry," such as the diamond buckle necklace, a belt-shaped adornment with diamonds totaling 34 carats and a price tag of $148,000.
Beth O. Canavan, Tiffany's executive vice president, called the scaled-down store "a new way of looking at Tiffany."
Like many retailers, Tiffany has felt the squeeze of the slowdown in consumer spending. Holiday sales slipped below expectations. Sales in January were "modestly improved" from December, the company said in a statement this month.
Tiffany's stock is down almost 15% this year.
The Americana at Brand, scheduled to open May 2, will have 900,000 square feet of retail and residential space over 15.5 acres. Among the retailers will be Chico's, Juicy Couture, Anthropologie, Kate Spade and Barnes & Noble. The residential properties will be both rental units and condominiums.