On December 20, Target’s CEO wanted to reassure customers that the company had been addressing a corporate data breach and that it was ready to offer them a holiday shopping break. The day after the company acknowledged that hackers had broken into its computerized customer information, including credit card data, chairman, president and CEO Gregg Steinhafel issued a statement that addressed the issue, steps Target is taking on security and its relationship with customers.
The statement read:
“Yesterday, we shared that there was unauthorized access to payment card data at our U.S. stores. The issue has been identified and eliminated. We recognize this has been confusing and disruptive during an already busy holiday season. Our guests’ trust is our top priority at Target, and we are committed to making this right.
We want our guests to understand that just because they shopped at Target during the impacted time frame, it doesn’t mean they are victims of fraud. In fact, in other similar situations, there are typically low levels of actual fraud. Most importantly, we want to reassure guests that they will not be held financially responsible for any credit and debit card fraud. And to provide guests with extra assurance, we will be offering free credit monitoring services. We will be in touch with those impacted by this issue soon on how and where to access the service.
“We understand it’s been difficult for some guests to reach us via our website and call center. We apologize and want you to understand that we are experiencing unprecedented call volume. Our Target teams are working continuously to build capacity and meet our guests’ needs.”
Steinhafel added, “We take this crime seriously. It was a crime against Target, our team members and, most importantly, our guests. We’re in this together.”
In that spirit, he said, the company would offer a 10% discount for guests who planned to shop its stores in the United States on December 21 and 22, pointing out that the savings are the same the company’s employees receive.
“Again,” Steinhafel concluded, “we recognize this issue has been confusing and disruptive during an already busy holiday season. We want to emphasize that the issue has been addressed and let guests know they can shop with confidence at their local Target stores.”