Target Corporation's Dealing with a Data Security Breach

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In 2013, Target Corp., the company that prides itself on offering quality, upscale, and trendy merchandise at lower costs, had anticipated a historic year. However, after purchasing Canadian retailer Zellers’ 273 locations and finally executing plans to expand outside the United States, both company and stockholder optimism vanished. In late 2013, news of a massive data breach affecting nearly 110 million consumers turned out devastatingly bad numbers in the fourth quarter—some experts even calling it the second largest retail cyber-attack in history. As the holiday season approached, analysts had expected Target’s earnings to be flat compared to the previous year, 2012, when the Minneapolis-based retailer posted fourth-quarter earnings at $921 million. However, after news of the breach and its ongoing investigation became public, many consumers, uncertain about the extent of the breach, chose to shop with Target’s competitors during the holidays. Target’s best public relations efforts could not completely ease consumer concerns. Sales in the last week of the holiday season fell by nearly 4 percent, compared to other retailers, which devastated the traditionally strong retailer as holiday sales account for 20 to 40 percent of annual sales. Target ended the quarter with $520 million in earnings, down almost 45 percent from 2012. Breaking News Popular tech security website first reported a rumored data breach at Target on December 13 after receiving tips

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