Nordstrom’s founding family is exploring ways to take the department store chain private, the company announced on Thursday, as the retail industry continues to be buffeted by an array of ills.

In a statement, Nordstrom said that members of the family that founded the company more than 100 years ago — including its co-presidents and its chairman emeritus — have formed a group to consider buying shares in the company held by other investors.

The decision by the Nordstroms comes as the traditional retail industry is reeling…