Following several months of speculation, the Nordstrom family has decided against increasing its stake in the department store chain.
According to a filing on Monday with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Seattle-based company said that co-presidents Pete and Erik Nordstrom had presented the board with a proposal that would have boosted their stake in Nordstrom to more than half. However, by mutual agreement, those discussions were terminated.
“The full Nordstrom board, including the co-presidents,” the filing read, “continues to be focused on the company’s business operations.” It added that the board has had talks with the co-presidents “around succession planning and the continued evolution of their and others’ management roles and responsibilities.”
The Nordstrom family currently owns 31.2% of the namesake retailer. At the end of July, Pete and Erik Nordstrom had reportedly been working on a proposal to raise their stake in the company to upwards of 50% in an effort to tighten the family’s grip on the family business.
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The news came a year after talks aimed at taking Nordstrom private fell through after an initial offer of $50 per share from the family was deemed “inadequate.” In March, the special committee that advised the firm’s board for the potential transaction said that it had terminated discussions with the group — comprised of the co-presidents, including the late Blake Nordstrom, President of Stores James Nordstrom, Chairman Emeritus Bruce Nordstrom and sister Anne E. Gittinger.
Despite the failed go-private attempt as well as some unevenness in the chain’s business over the past years, Nordstrom had mostly outperformed many of its peers amid a supposed retail apocalypse and wider industry disruption that peaked around 2017.
The company has also been lauded for its innovative concepts and omnichannel savvy, including its “buy online, pick up in store” service, revamped loyalty program and experiential store offerings. Nordstrom made headlines last week with the debut of its 320,000-square-foot women’s flagship on New York’s 57th Street, just steps away from Central Park and directly across the street from its men’s outpost.
Nordstrom Family Reportedly in Talks to Increase Stake to More Than Half