Upscale retailer Nordstrom could go private

Members of the Nordstrom family are exploring taking the namesake department store private. VIDEO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (REUTERS) - Nordstrom could go private. The family that controls the upscale namesake retailer has formed a group to consider acquiring the company and taking it off the public market.

"Taking it private really relieves the biggest pressure that a department store chain has which is shareholder pressure. Activist pressure. The Nordstrom family could then sort of execute a turnaround plan that is designed to be a multi-year plan and not be faced with hey, 'Where are the earnings this quarter?'" said Bruderman Brothers chief executive Oliver Pursche.

The news sent shares of Nordstrom soaring and drove those of traditional department stores like Macy's and Kohl's higher as well.

Like its rivals, several quarters of weak sales has slammed Nordstrom's stock. Slumping demand for clothing and a shift to online shopping have hit department stores hard.

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A special committee of independent directors will explore options for the family, which owns about 31 per cent of the company's shares.