Metro Target customers loyal despite data breach - KMSP-TV

Metro Target customers loyal despite data breach

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MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) -

Even the most loyal of Target customers cannot ignore the facts, but it seems that even though shoppers know about the massive data breach that hit the retail chain, they're still buying.

"The entire country is checking their bank account right now," Nadine Thiel told Fox 9 News.

She, like millions of Target customers, has made a holiday list, checked it twice, and swiped.

Few shoppers at Target in downtown Minneapolis seem to be thinking twice before walking in -- even after learning about the data breach that compromised the credit and debit card data belonging to 40 million people.

"It didn't stop me at all. Seriously, I'm on the way right now to go and shop there," nodded Ben Crist.

Maybe it's local pride, but most Minnesotans who spoke with Fox 9 News didn't seem keen to drop the hometown brand.

"I know Minnesota customers will be loyal. Definitely. I certainly will," said Annetta Bray-Wagner.

Even those who acknowledge that the brand may be a bit banged up by the recent breach say the retailer will weather the storm.

"It's kind of scary," Bray-Wagner admits, "but I think Target will do fine. It's not like it hasn't happen to some other companies."

Crisis Management Principal for Fluence Media Blois Olson agrees.

"The largest [data breach] before this was [at] TJ Maxx," he recalled. "The actual number of TJ Maxx customers who were actually impacted was very small."

Olson said time will tell whether or not the data breach will prove in any way detrimental for Target.

"Target won't know the reputational damages for months or years to come," he said.

While it's too early to determine how the breach will affect consumer loyalty, one thing is very clear about the wide-ranging breach's potential affect.

"It's psychological just as much as it is financial," noted Olson. "In the short term this is a major issue for Target."

Even so, Olson has confidence the big-name retailer will hit the bulls eye to ultimately recovering from the digital blow.

"Target will do what's right by the customer," Olson stated. "They will find a way to find credit card monitoring and credit report monitoring for those who have been impacted by this."

The company's leading officers have vowed to make things right for their customers and do what they can to alleviate the hassle around the holidays.

"Target's first priority is preserving the trust of our guests and we have moved swiftly to address this issue, so guests can shop with confidence. We regret any inconvenience this may cause," said Gregg Steinhafel, chairman, president and chief executive officer, Target. "We take this matter very seriously and are working with law enforcement to bring those responsible to justice."

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