Target announced updates Jan. 10 on its continuing investigation into the recent data breach and released expected fourth quarter financial performance.
As part of Target’s ongoing forensic investigation, it has been determined that certain guest information - separate from the payment card data previously disclosed - was taken from Target, the company revealed in a press release posted at Target.com. This theft is not a new breach, but was uncovered as part of the ongoing investigation, company officials said. At this time, the investigation has determined that the stolen information includes names, mailing addresses, phone numbers or email addresses for up to 70 million individuals.
Much of this data is partial in nature, but in cases where Target has an email address, we will attempt to contact affected guests. This communication will be informational, including tips to guard against consumer scams. Target will not ask those guests to provide any personal information as part of that communication. In addition, guests can find the tips at Target.com/databreach, along with updated information in the Data Breach FAQs to help answer questions and provide additional resources.
“I know that it is frustrating for our guests to learn that this information was taken and we are sorry they are having to endure this,” said Gregg Steinhafel, chairman, president and chief executive officer. “Our guests expect more from us and deserve better. And I want them to know that understanding and sharing the facts is important to me and the entire Target team.”
Guests will have zero liability for the cost of any fraudulent charges arising from the breach. To provide further peace of mind, Target is offering one year of free credit monitoring and identity theft protection to all Target guests who shopped our U.S stores. Guests will have three months to enroll in the program.
The company also provided an update to its expected fourth quarter 2013 financial results.
In the U.S. Segment, Target now expects fourth quarter 2013 adjusted EPS of $1.20 to $1.30, compared with prior guidance of $1.50 to $1.60. This outlook anticipates a fourth quarter 2013 comparable sales decline of approximately 2.5 percent, compared with prior guidance of approximately flat comparable sales.
The updated sales expectation reflects stronger-than-expected fourth quarter sales prior to the Company’s Dec. 19 announcement of a payment card breach, meaningfully weaker-than-expected sales since the announcement, which have shown improvement in the last several days, and a comparable sales decline of 2 percent to 6 percent for the remainder of the quarter.
After careful consideration of each location’s financial performance, Target also announced that eight U.S. stores on May 3. None of the stores are located in Pinellas County.
The stores affected by this announcement are located in West Dundee, Ill.; Las Vegas; North Las Vegas; Duluth, Ga.; Memphis, Tenn.; Orange Park, Fla.; Middletown, Ohio and Trotwood, Ohio.
Eligible team members at these stores will be offered an opportunity to transfer to a similar position at a nearby Target location.