A Nordstrom sign at a mall in Indianapolis. Darron Cummings / AP

The Nordstrom family is nearing a deal to procure about $1 billion in backing from private equity firm Leonard Green in a step toward buying out its department store chain, per CNBC.

  • What's needed: The Nordstroms already own 31.2% of the brand, but they'll need to pull together $7 to $8 billion from banks to finance the deal.
  • Why they want to go private: The family wants to start backing some ideas — like stores without merchandise (think Warby Parker) and heavy investments in e-commerce — that might make investors wary. Taking the company private would sidestep those concerns.
  • What could go wrong: Department stores are viewed as a dying breed that come loaded with debt and overhead, making it possible that this deal could fall through.

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