Shares of Macy's Inc. rose sharply Friday following a report of a potential takeover offer for the struggling department store chain.
The Cincinnati company has been approached by Toronto-based Hudson's Bay Co., which already owns the Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor brands in the U.S., about a possible acquisition, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing unnamed sources.
Discussions are in the early stages, and it's possible no deal could be reached, the report said. The two sides also may consider other ways to collaborate, including selling Macy's real estate, it said.
Macy's and Hudson's Bay declined to discuss the report, with Macy's saying "we do not comment on rumors and speculation."
Macy's stock initially shot up more than 10% and there was a six-minute trading halt on the New York Stock Exchange due to the shares' volatility. The stock then backed off its highs and finished with a gain of $1.97, or 6.4%, to $32.69 a share.
That gave Macy's a total market value of about $9.4 billion. Hudson's Bay, whose stock trades on Canadian markets, has a market value of about 1.8 billion Canadian dollars, or $1.4 billion.
Like many other brick-and-mortar retailers, Macy's has been struggling to keep up with changing consumer spending habits, mainly their increased shopping online at e-commerce retailers such as Amazon.com Inc.
Following a disappointing holiday season, Macy's said last month that it would slash more than 10,000 jobs and go ahead with plans to close 68 stores that are among about 100 locations that Macy's last August said it would eventually close.
Other retailers have struggled as well. Last month, the Limited said it would close all 250 of its stores and filed for bankruptcy. Teen retailer Wet Seal said it is closing all 171 of its shops. And American Apparel laid off about 2,400 employees after selling its brand to Canadian clothing maker Gildan Activewear.
The closures are a blow to dozens of shopping malls across the country, especially where Macy's is one of the anchor stores that help draw consumers to the malls' other tenants.
Macy's stock has plunged after hitting a high of $72.31 in July 2015.
Last year, Macy's longtime Chief Executive Terry Lundgren said he planned to step down in 2017. President Jeff Gennette was tapped to take over.
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2:45 p.m.: This article was updated with Macy's closing stock price and additional analysis.