Department Store Chain Nordstrom Considers Going Private

The family behind U.S. department store chain Nordstrom (JWN) is considering taking the company private.

According to multiple media reports, the Nordstrom family has formed a special committee to evaluate bids aimed at taking the company private.

The move comes as the 123-year-old department store chain struggles with a decline in sales as shopping increasingly moves online and to outlet malls.

Last summer, Nordstrom closed all its locations in Canada after less than a decade in the country, shutting down more than a dozen outlets following liquidation sales.

The special committee is comprised of independent and disinterested directors who will evaluate proposals from interested parties aimed at taking it private.

However, Nordstrom’s current board of directors has warned that there’s no guarantee a deal will happen or be approved in the coming months.

In 2017, private-equity firm Leonard Green & Partners came close to taking Nordstrom private but the deal ultimately fell through.

Nordstrom is one of several department stores that is struggling with declining foot traffic and sales in an evolving retail landscape.

The company was also hurt by the Covid-19 pandemic that forced its more than 450 department stores to either close or operate at reduced capacity.

Nordstrom’s stock has increased 3% on the year and currently trades at $18.74 U.S. per share. Over the last five years, the company’s share price has decreased 55%.

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