A group of investors have offered to buy US department store giant Macy's for $5.8 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday.

Arkhouse Management, a firm specializing in real estate investments, and asset manager Brigade Capital Management submitted a proposal to acquire the company's remaining stock for $21 per share, the financial daily reported, citing "people familiar with the matter."

Macy's shares were trading for $17.39 per share as of Friday's market close.

Though the department store sector has been hit by the rise of online shopping, the decline of malls and then the Covid-19 pandemic, the investors believe "Macy's is undervalued in the public markets," according to the Journal.

Macy's turned a profit of roughly $1.2 billion last year, though in the third quarter of 2023 profits declined by more than half, to $43 million, compared to $108 million over the same period in 2022.

The bid was reportedly submitted December 1.

Contacted by AFP, an Arkhouse representative declined to comment. Brigade did not respond to a request for comment, while Macy's also declined to comment.

The investor group has discussed the proposal with Macy's, and the store's board has met to discuss the offer -- though it isn't clear if the retailer is in favor of the bid, the Journal reported.

Macy's also owns the department store Bloomingdale's and beauty brand Bluemercury.