Remember that credit and debit card breach that hit Target last month? You know, the one that impacted 40 million in-store holiday shopping customers and ranked as the second-largest retail data breach in American history?
No? Here’s a refresher.
And guess what … Target’s breach is no longer No. 2 in retail history, it’s No. 1 with a bullet.
According to the company, credit and debt card information for anywhere between 70-110 million customers has been compromised. Not only that, Target revealed that the as-yet-unidentified hacker made off with more information about customers than initially reported.
“I know that it is frustrating for our guests to learn that this information was taken, and we are truly sorry they are having to endure this,” Target’s top executive said in a statement.
The company said its customers would have “zero liability for the cost of any fraudulent charges arising from the breach,” and reiterated its offer to provide one year of free credit monitoring and identity theft protection “to all guests who shopped our U.S. stores.” Shoppers have three months to take advantage of this service (more info here).
Who’s really sorry in all this? Target shareholders. The company confirmed that the breach had an impact on its holiday shopping season, shaving anywhere from 2-6 percent off of its expected sales. Target also announced this week its intention to close eight of its underperforming U.S. stores, although it’s not immediately clear whether those shutterings have anything to do with the breach.
Target has approximately 1,800 stores nationwide and did $72 billion in sales last year, making it the nation’s third largest chain store (behind Walmart and Kroger).