What happened

Shares of Nordstrom Inc. (NYSE:JWN) were up 10.9% as of 12:30 p.m. EDT Wednesday after the fashion specialty retail chain announced it's exploring the possibility of going private.

So what

More specifically, several members of the Nordstrom family -- including co-presidents Blake and Peter Nordstrom, Erik Nordstrom, company president of stores James Nordstrom, chairman emeritus Bruce Nordstrom, and Anne Gittinger -- have formed a group to entertain the possibility of taking their company private by acquiring all outstanding shares of Nordstrom common stock. 

Nordstrom store rendering

IMAGE SOURCE: NORDSTROM.

Now what

The group has not made a formal proposal. So it's unclear what kind of acquisition premium they might have in mind. In the meantime, Nordstrom's board has formed a special committee of independent directors to act on behalf of the company to consider a potential deal.

It's unsurprising that the family might consider now an opportune time to take the company private. The retail industry is exceedingly challenging right now. And on the heels of a disappointing first-quarter report last month, shares of Nordstrom are still trading nearly 30% below their 52-week-high. But given the prospect of the Nordstrom family potentially offering shareholders a deal they can't refuse, it's no surprise to see the stock trading higher today.

Steve Symington has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Nordstrom. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.