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Nordstrom Suspends Plan To Go Private, Will Remain Public In 2017

Nordstrom Suspends Plan To Go Private, Will Remain Public In 2017

Four months after setting up a special committee to explore the possibility of taking its namesake brand private, the Nordstrom family has tabled the idea for the remainder of 2017.

The group, which includes company Co-Presidents Blake Nordstrom, Peter Nordstrom and Erik Nordstrom, President of Stores James Nordstrom, Chairman Emeritus Bruce Nordstrom and Anne Gittinger, informed the Special Committee that it intends to resume considering the possibility of going private after the conclusion of the 2017 holiday season.

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Earlier this month there were reports that the Nordstrom family was having trouble finding a party to finance a deal. Leonard Green & Partners was preparing to sign off on an equity stake of approximately $1 billion to back the takeover, but later reneged on the deal, possibly due to the Toys ‘R’ Us bankruptcy filing.

In an era when department stores are undergoing tremendous difficulties, Nordstrom has staved off many of the problems its competitors experience. In Q2 2017, the retailer saw sales rise 3.5% and comparable store sales increase 1.7%, with its off-price Nordstrom Rack stores seeing a 3.1% sales boost.

Nordstrom also is capitalizing on the continued trend of shoppers going experiential with the recent launch of its Nordstrom Local store in West Hollywood, Calif. The store will take up only 3,000 square feet of space and does not sell merchandise. While the store carry no inventory, customers can pick up products in-store that were ordered online.

But despite these changes, Nordstrom’s stock has dipped more than 35% since Dec. 8, 2016. With shareholders still unsatisfied with the department store’s changes, the brand would deal with significantly less outside pressure if its leadership did eventually decide to go private.

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