Target (NYSE: TGT) shoppers are remaining loyal to the chain, even after the retailer suffered a massive data breach last holiday season. A new Bloomberg National poll finds that 85 percent of respondents say they expect to shop about the same amount at Target over the next year, while only 7 percent will shop less.
The study also found that customers are confident that Target has implemented data safety procedures and technologies to prevent a cyberattack from reoccurring. About half of shoppers believe that Target will be able to keep credit and debit card information safe going forward, the survey found.
The findings are good news for Target, which has spent all of 2014 working to redeem itself after the holiday season fiasco. The retailer has been bolstering security and implementing a new payments program. Target is implementing MasterCard chip-and-PIN technology in its branded credit and debit cards and is on track to have new payment terminals installed in stores this fall. By early 2015, Target will be able to accept chip-and-PIN payments from all of its Target branded REDcard credit and debit cards. Existing Target Visa cards will be reissued as MasterCard co-branded chip-and-PIN cards.
Target is dealing with leadership changes as well, beginning with the resignation of Beth Jacobs, Target's previous CIO, who resigned in early March. Bob DeRodes was hired as EVP and CIO, effective May 5, shortly before CEO Gregg Steinhafel resigned. The company appointed CFO John Mulligan, as interim president and CEO.
In the wake of the data breach, Target also put several procedures and programs in place to regain customer trust. The company is providing $5 million to support a new cybersecurity coalition that will educate the public on the dangers of cybercrime and phishing scams. The National Cyber-Forensics & Training Alliance, National Cyber Security Alliance and Council of Better Business Bureaus are all partners in the program. Target has also contracted with Experian to provide its ProtectMyID credit monitoring and identity theft protection service to any Target customer who shopped in one of its U.S. stores.
Chip-and-PIN, or EMV, won't save retailers from data breaches entirely, and more needs to be done to create end-to-end solutions. But while security issues could continue to plague stores, it's important that shoppers feel more secure and willing to trust retailers such as Target with personal and credit card information.
-See this Bloomberg article
Target: Timeline of a data breach
Target's data breach is a story with long legs
Target breach: Heating vendor confirmed as hackers' entry point
Target to install chip-and-PIN card readers, says that only 25 registers were to blame for massive breach
The story of how Target had chip and PIN cards, but failed to keep them