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Target’s Data Breach and Its Weasel CEO

Gregg Steinhafel Is the Alex Rodriguez of Retailing

January 28, 2014 By Denny Hatch
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We have a Target store in the neighborhood. I never liked the place. And I liked it less when Target lawyers sent a letter to my former company ordering us to stop using the term Target Marketing. It makes no mind that Target Marketing has been around for 40 years and Target stores have not. Lawyers are in the business of being weasels, making trouble and collecting fees.

On Dec. 19, 2013, a data breach of Target was reported. Over the coming weeks, the news got worse and worse.

By the New Year, it became obvious:

  1. Target had created a data catastrophe.
  2. Target's cover-your-ass P.R. campaign leaked out news of the worsening situation, until it was revealed 110 million consumers were victimized.

That's roughly one-third the U.S. population.

The sequence:

Dec. 19, 2013: 40 Million Credit & Debit Accounts Stolen
The company early Thursday confirmed a data breach may have affected about 40 million credit card and debit card accounts between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15. —The Wall Street Journal
 
• Dec. 20, 2013: Okay, Take 10% Off Everything
Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel issued an apology on the company's website Friday to the approximately 40 million customers affected by one of the largest credit-card breaches ever to hit a U.S. retailer. To make up for the problem, which Steinhafel said has been "eliminated," Target is offering customers 10 percent off this weekend, the same discount Target workers get.

• Dec. 26, 2013: Take Up to 50% Off After Xmas Clearance
If you are headed out to Target today—as you know—today is the day that many items will be already marked at 50% off. Clearance will vary from store to storesome stores may have practically nothing, while others may have lots of stuff left. Most of the usual Holiday itemsdecorations, ornaments, giftwrap, stocking stuffers and more should all be at 50% Off today. But there are lots of seasonal grocery and household items to watch for now that it is after Christmas, too.
 
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