Credit Card Data Breach Slows Traffic at Target Stores

Traffic at Target Stores falls after data breach
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In the wake of a massive data breach, Target suffered reduced customer traffic over one of the busiest shopping weekends of the year, the Wall Street Journal reported (subscription required).

The number of transactions at Target (TGT) fell 3 to 4 percent compared with last year's final weekend before Christmas, while, transactions at other retailers were strong, the Journal said, citing estimates by retail consultancy Customer Growth Partners.

Target said Thursday that hackers had stolen data from as many as 40 million credit and debit cards of shoppers %VIRTUAL-article-sponsoredlinks%who visited its stores during the first three weeks of the holiday season.

At least 2 million shoppers who used bank debit cards at Target stores during its recent data breach are facing lower limits on how much cash they can take out of teller machines and spend at stores.

"This is the worst possible time something like this could happen," Craig Johnson, president of Customer Growth Partners told the Journal.

The consultancy firm estimates that U.S. retail sales Saturday totaled $17 billion, exceeding those on Black Friday by $2 billion, according to the paper.

A Target spokeswoman declined to comment to the Journal specifically on this weekend's results, saying the retailer reports sales on a quarterly basis.

Target couldn't immediately be reached for comment by Reuters outside of regular U.S. business hours.

Originally published