For those who still cling to the Tinkerbell belief that consumers will shun any retailers who are shown to not protect their data, TJX's latest sales figures will deliver a rude awakening.
This concept is not new, as ample evidence already existed that consumers don't really care about security, but when TJX reported Thursday that its April sales increased another 2 percent, to $1.28 billion, the conclusion became unavoidable. More importantly, for the thirteen weeks ended May 5, 2007, sales reached $4.2 billion, a 7 percent increase over last year's $3.9 billion. Even with those healthy increases, TJX CEO Carol Meyrowitz said the sales were below her expectation, mostly because of weather. If they were going to feel a consumer backlash, it would have been evident months ago, let alone now.