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Reports: Target CIO resigns in wake of data breach

BY Antoinette Alexander

MINNEAPOLIS — In the wake of a huge data breach just before the Christmas holiday, Target’s CIO Beth Jacob is resigning, according to published reports.

According to a New York Times report, which cites a statement released to the Associated Press, the move is effective Wednesday and the company will look for an interim CIO.

In addition, Target has indicated that it also will look outside of the company for a chief information security officer and a chief compliance officer.

As previously reported, Target experienced during the fourth quarter a data breach in which an intruder gained unauthorized access to its network and stole certain payment card and other guest information. The company incurred $17 million of net expense in the fourth quarter, reflecting $61 million of total expenses partially offset by the recognition of a $44 million insurance receivable. These expenses include, but aren’t limited to, costs related to investigating the breach, offering credit-monitoring and identity theft protection services to guests and increased staffing in its call centers.

Looking to fiscal 2014, the company noted that it is not able to estimate future expenses related to the data breach.

 

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Kroger ups commitment to Dallas market

BY Michael Johnsen

DALLAS — Kroger on Wednesday lowered prices on thousands of food and household items and renewed an emphasis on shopping experience, fuel discounts, local products and community relations in the Dallas market, the retailer announced. Within the next two years, Kroger will build six new stores and expand three locations, along with opening multiple fuel centers and remodeling existing properties in the North Texas area. 

"We’re a strong brand and company but we’ve achieved that status because we’re always looking for improvement opportunities. Kroger currently serves 662,000 households every week in the North Texas market with 86 locations and we continue to expand those numbers," stated Bill Breetz, president of Kroger Southwest. "We know that price is important to every customer, and at times, can be a deciding factor where to shop. With our Refresh initiative, we’re making a multi-million dollar investment to reduce prices across the store and reengaging our employees to offer highly-satisfied customer service."

Through the new investment, Kroger has lowered prices on items customers purchase most frequently ranging from fruits and vegetables to grocery and household staples. National and private label brands are included in the price reduction.

Along with new lower prices, Kroger will continue to help shoppers maximize their savings by accepting valid print coupons, and digital coupons that are downloadable at Kroger.com and through the Kroger mobile app. Kroger also helps customers save by offering discounted pricing for 30- and 90-day generic drug prescriptions, providing a daily 25% discount on cosmetics and giving a 10% wine discount when shoppers purchase six bottles or more.

In response to customer feedback, Kroger has installed new technology that allows stores to deliver a faster checkout experience. With the new Refresh initiative, Kroger is recommitting to making customers’ time a priority, the grocer stated. To enhance the shopping experience, Kroger is striving to have more registers open, especially during peak shopping times, to keep shoppers’ wait time to a minimum.

The company also announced Kroger Community Rewards, a new $1.5 million fundraising program that supports schools, non-profits and faith-based groups. Organizations and their supporters can enroll in the program using their Kroger Plus Card to earn funds. Every time an enrolled customer shops, they help their charity of choice raise money. 

 

 

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Weis Markets’ year-end sales down slightly by 0.3%

BY Michael Johnsen

SUNBURY, Pa. — Weis Markets on Tuesday evening posted $686.4 million in fourth-quarter sales for the 13-week period ended Dec. 28, 2013, representing a decline of 1.1% as compared to the year-ago period. Comparable store sales for the same period were down 3.5%. In 2013, the company’s sales totaled $2.7 billion, down 0.3% compared to 2012. Comparable store sales for the 52-week period ending Dec. 28 declined 2.6%.

The company’s fourth quarter results were impacted by a decline in food stamp/SNAP spending in its stores and a shortened holiday season, which impacted sales in key center store categories, the Pennsylvania grocer stated. Its results were affected by fuel price deflation, which resulted in lower retail gas sales. Deli sales were also lower due to manufacturer recalls.

Weis’ year-to-date results were impacted by the trends affecting its fourth quarter results: stagnant sales performance in key center store categories, lower comparable store gas sales due to significant fuel price deflation and a decline in SNAP sales, all of which accelerated in the fourth quarter.

 

 

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