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Nordstrom ends buyout talks, and its stock falls

The plan for Nordstrom's success is offering products that differentiate the chain from its competitors, a company committee said.
The plan for Nordstrom’s success is offering products that differentiate the chain from its competitors, a company committee said.
(Darron Cummings / Associated Press)

Nordstrom Inc. shares fell Wednesday after the department store operator ended buyout talks with family members of the company’s founder.

The company announced the end of talks late Tuesday, saying it couldn’t get the group to raise its offered price.

This month, Nordstrom rejected an offer of $50 a share from the family group — which includes high-level company executives — and called the price “inadequate.” At the time, the shares were trading above that level.

On Wednesday, Nordstrom shares fell 3.3% to close at $47.70.

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The family group includes co-presidents Blake, Peter and Erik Nordstrom, who are descendants of John W. Nordstrom. Together, they have a stake of about 30% in the company, according to FactSet.

A special committee for Nordstrom’s board of directors, formed to represent the company in talks with the family over a potential sale, said Tuesday that the chain is “well-positioned to capitalize on future opportunities to gain market share.”

It said its plan is offering products that differentiate itself from its competitors, “delivering exceptional services and experiences and leveraging the strength of its brand.”

Nordstrom, like other department stores, is trying to adapt to changing customer behavior. The company reported quarterly sales and profits that fell short of expectations for the period that includes the holiday season. The missed targets overshadowed Nordstrom’s healthy 2.6% increase in sales at established stores, which is a key measure of a retailer’s health.

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Taking the company private would pave the way for the chain — which traces its roots to a Seattle shoe store that opened in 1901 — to manage its reinvention without the watch of the public markets.


UPDATES:

1:35 p.m.: This article was updated with Nordstrom’s stock movement.

This article was originally published at 7:25 a.m.

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