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Target says 70 million hit by data breach

Minneapolis - Target said it uncovered more data theft, deepening the number of consumers to 70 million from 50 million previously thought to be impacted from the recent massive breach.

The company also lowered its earning guidance for the fourth quarter based on weaker sales as a result of the breach.
In a statement posted on its website here, Target said that it found consumer information was stolen, separate from the payment card data previously disclosed. This theft is not a new breach, the retailer said, but was uncovered as part of the ongoing investigation. The stolen information includes names, mailing addresses, phone numbers or email addresses for up to 70 million individuals.
Target is attempting to contact its shoppers via email and offer tips to guard against consumer scams. Shoppers will have no liability for fraudulent charges and Target is offering one year of free credit monitoring and identity theft protection. Consumers will have three months to enroll in the program, for which details will be offered next week.
Gregg Steinhafel, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Target, apologized to consumers in the statement. "I know that it is frustrating for our guests to learn that this information was taken and we are truly sorry they are having to endure this,"
The company also updated its fourth quarter outlook for its U.S. business to reflect weaker sales since the Dec. 19 breach announcement. The company now expects a sales decline of 2.5% and forecasts fourth quarter 2013 earnings per share of $1.20 to $1.30, compared with a previous guidance of $1.50 to $1.60. The company also sees a comparable sales decline of 2% to 6% for the remainder of the quarter.
Target also plans to close eight U.S. stores on May 3 in West Dundee, Ill.; Las Vegas, Nev.; North Las Vegas, Nev.; Duluth, GA; Memphis, Tenn.; Orange Park, Fla.; Middletown, Ohio; and Trotwood, Ohio. Eligible employees will be offered a transfer to a similar position at a nearby Target location.

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