Target is no longer flavor of the month, it has stalled out and is now closing as many stores as it opens in an attempt to dump their many dud stores.  19 stores closing equals how many were opened last year.

Target Is Closing As Many 

Stores As It Opened Last Year

Target might have Alex, but the teen heartthrob isn't enough to save some of the company's stores from getting the ax.

The retail giant said Tuesday that it plans to shutter 11 underperforming stores by next February, about six months after it closed eight other locations. That brings the total number of closures to 19 this year -- as many locations as the company opened last year, according to its annual report.

“The decision to close a Target store is only made after careful consideration of the long-term financial performance of a particular location,” the company said in a statement. “All eligible store team members are being offered the option to transfer to other Target stores.”

Employees who choose not to transfer will receive severance payments, the statement said. The stores, closing by Feb. 1, 2015, include locations scattered throughout the South and Midwest. Evan Lapiska, a Target spokesman, said each store currently employs roughly 100 workers.

Target has struggled over the past year in the wake of a massive breach of customer data, which cost its chief executive his job. The company is also facing trouble as big-box retailers lose ground with shoppers to smaller stores and e-commerce sites.

In response, Target began testing smaller, urban express stores and beefed up its digital team in July. In this case, the company appears to be trimming fat as part of its turnaround strategy.

Here’s a full list of stores closing:

Lithonia, Georgia
8109 Mall Parkway
Lithonia, Ga.

Castleton, Indiana
8448 Center Run Drive
Indianapolis, Ind.

Monroe, Michigan
2121 N. Monroe St.
Monroe, Mich.

Clinton, Iowa
2900 S. 25th St.
Clinton, Iowa

Wichita East, Kansas
301 S. Towne East Mall Drive
Wichita, Kan.

Northland, Michigan
21400 Northwestern Highway
Southfield, Mich.

McHenry, Illinois
1860 N. Richmond Road
McHenry, Ill

Bay City, Michigan
4135 Wilder Road
Bay City, Mich.

Austin, Minnesota
1701 18th Ave. N.W.
Austin, Minn.

Calumet City, Illinois
1717 E. West Road
Calumet City, Ill.

Carrolton, Texas
2620 N. Josey Lane
Carrollton, Texas



Target in Leesburg, Va. fired Dallas Northington, a Target security officer for 8 years when he reported a shoplifting by a Fairfax County sheriff’s deputy and provided local Leesburg Police with the video of the 2 incidents.

The man was captured twice on video shoplifting, and Northington responded as he said he always did: He called the Leesburg police, made a report and provided them the videos of the two incidents.
See media reports at:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/target-security-officer-fired-after-reportingshoplifting/2014/07/10/f3d6f606-0854-11e4-bbf1-cc51275e7f8f_story.html?tid=pm_pop and http://consumerist.com/2014/07/14/target-security-worker-claims-he-was-fired-for-reporting-shoplifting-suspect-who-might-be-a-cop/

UPDATE of 7/15/14

Former Deputy Charged In Shoplifting Incidents That Got Target Worker Fired

Yesterday we told you about the Target worker in Virginia who was fired after he reported an alleged shoplifter believed to be a law enforcement officer. Today comes the news that a former sheriff’s deputy has been arrested and charged, while the Target worker remains unemployed.
According to the Washington Post, police charged a 50-year-old Leesburg, VA, man who had been with the Fairfax County sheriff’s office for 20 years until he retired in June, with two counts of petty larceny related to the two alleged shoplifting incidents that led to the employee’s dismissal.
It all began back in May, while the suspect was still working as a deputy. The fired worker, formerly an assets protection specialist, says his supervisor watched the suspect steal a tube of toothpaste by putting into a bag of items that were already paid for. The supervisor reportedly felt uncomfortable notifying the police because they believed the suspect was himself a cop.
The since-fired employee says they then spoke to a store manager who said he personally knew the man in the video. A decision was made to wait for the suspect to return to the store.
Eleven days later, on May 27, the employee learned from his supervisor that the deputy had come back to the store that day. This time, video allegedly showed the man leaving the store without paying for half the items in his cart.
The employee says it was the supervisor that contacted the Leesburg police, but he was the one who actually went to the station, where he provided officers with high-resolution color photos of the suspect and, later, the suspect’s name, which he’d learned from his manager.
The employee, who maintains that he did nothing out of the ordinary, was first suspended for two days and then fired — on the same day the deputy retired — for “gross misconduct” for allegedly failing to notify his superiors (even though it was his boss who called the police) or fill out proper paperwork before contacting police.
The Leesburg police had the information on the alleged shoplifter for more than a month, but it was only on Monday — after the original Post story had been published — that Target notified the cops of its intentions to pursue charges.
Police served warrants on the former deputy at his home on Monday night. He was booked and released on a $5,000 bond, and now faces a court date of Aug. 12.
So the suspect has been arrested, and the store has pressed charges, but Target apparently still thinks the fired employee deserves to sit on the unemployment line.


GLASSDOOR an Employee Salary, Ratings and Review Site

While I don't want you to rush away from my site, I would like to inform you of another employee rating and review internet site which you might wish to visit and bookmark for future visits.

The consumer review site Glassdoor has updated their stats on Target as to salaries, employee comments, etc.  It is far to extensive to post here but you can find this information at:  http://www.glassdoor.com/Salary/Target-Salary-E194_P2.htm


Misc Info:  I post now and then on Facebook at:  https://www.facebook.com/wm.inkennesaw   This may not be of great interest to those just wanting Target info as I cover general consumer items, many local to the greater Atlanta area.



I came across the below on an internet message board site and thought it worth a post since I got sued for 23 months in Atlanta Federal Court for having posted the 44 pages of the then current Tarbutt 'Security Manual'.

From years of following Tarbutt I can tell you that these AP Directives are considered by those in the stores as 'guidelines' and they are only enforced when someone really screws up.  There are loads of internet videos showing Target AP chasing and wrestling with shoplifters.  

See videos at:  http://targetfiling.blogspot.com/2012/11/target-ap-continues-to-violate-ap.html

If any current or former Target employees have a copy of the current AP Directives you are invited to send them to me and I will publish them.  I did get an offer about a year ago but when I replied mentioning that while I would like to have the offered item but I did not either pay for or sell such info the person never followed up.

Probably it was Tarbutt HQ trying to see if I wanted to 'buy' their supposedly confidential information.  Drop a line if you want to send off a copy for publication.  (computer201@hotmail.com)

Here is are direct links to the 'old' version:  on this blog at http://targetfiling.blogspot.com/search?q=video or a seperate site at:    http://targetapdirectives2006.blogspot.com/

1.) I've never heard of an injury happening on an apprehension. If you get in a situation where you could potentially get injured you're doing it wrong and you are going to get yelled at.

2.) Oh god no! Why would you think this?

3.) Depends on the store/market/risk level. TPS's are traditionally in higher risk stores but that doesn't necessarily mean anything. If you end up in a store with an APS and TPS team expect to see some shit.

4.) Physical altercation? Like fist fight? Hell no. We as AP aren't there to get in physical altercations. As a TPS you are there to protect the brand and if the situation calls for it intervene but at the end of the day we are just security not law enforcement. Observe and report is the name of the game. Now in apprehensions you will probably end up supporting the apprehension by utilizing Non-Violent intervention/team move.


For additional videos go to:  http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=target+shoplifters


Target faces identity crisis


NEW YORK (AP) - Target is having an identity crisis.

The nation's third largest retailer was once high-flying, but now it's struggling to find its place in the minds of American shoppers.

Once known for its cheap chic fashions and home accessories, Target faces competition from trendy chains like H&M. The discounter also hasn't been able to ditch the image that its prices on staples like milk are higher than rivals like Wal-Mart. And it's battling the fallout from a massive data breach that has hurt its reputation.

Meanwhile, Target on Tuesday fired the president of its Canadian operations following some missteps in that country. The ousting comes two weeks after the Minneapolis-based discounter announced it was looking for a new leader after the abrupt departure of its CEO.

Since the economic downturn, Target has battled the perception among tight-fisted shoppers that its prices are too high when compared with rivals. That challenge only increased as Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, has pushed its lower prices even more lately.

Target reported its first annual profit decline in its latest fiscal year in five years. Target's first-quarter results, which are slated to be released Wednesday, will offer more insight. And its shares have fallen 10.5 percent this year.

The longer article can be found at:  http://www.aol.com/article/2014/05/20/target-faces-identity-crisis/20889380/?icid=maing-grid7%7Chtmlws-main-bb%7Cdl33%7Csec1_lnk2%26pLid%3D478798


What is next for Target?

How much is Target paying CEO Gregg Steinhafel to leave?

Short answer: at least $9.3 million for his "voluntary termination" under the company's Officer Deferred Compensation Plan or ODCP. 

"The board of directors has not made a final determination on other compensation-related aspects of Mr. Steinhafel’s departure."

See Biz Journal article on this at:


Goodby Gregg, go screw up some other company!


Target CEO ousted over breach

Company seeks fresh start after hacker’s attack hurt sales, stock.

By Anne D’Innocenzio Associated Press

   NEW YORKTarget’s massive data breach has now cost the company’s CEO his job.

   Target announced Monday that Chairman, President and CEO Gregg Steinhafel is out nearly five months after the retailer disclosed the breach, which has hurt its reputation among customers and hammered its business.
Experts say his departure marks the first CEO of a major corporation to resign in the wake of a data breach and underscores how CEOs are now becoming more at risk in an era when such breaches have become common.
The nation’s third-largest retailer said Steinhafel, a 35-year veteran of the company and CEO since 2008, has agreed to step down, effective immediately. He also resigned from the board of directors.
The departure suggests the company is trying to start with a clean slate as it wrestles with the fallout from hackers’ theft of credit and debit card information on tens of millions of customers. The company’s sales, profit and stock price have all suffered since the breach was disclosed.
A company spokeswoman declined to give specifics on when the decision was reached. But in a statement issued Monday, the board said that after extensive discussions with Steinhafel, they both “have decided it is the right time for new leadership at Target.”
The company’s stock fell more than 3 percent Monday.
Target, based in Minneapolis, said Chief Financial Officer John Mulligan has been appointed interim president and CEO. Roxanne S. Austin, a member of Target’s board, has been named as interim non-executive chair of the board. Both will serve in those roles until permanent replacements are named.
“He was the face of the public breach. The company struggled to recover from it,” said Cynthia Larose, chair of the privacy and security practice at the law firm Mintz Levin. “It’s a new era for boards to take a proactive role in understanding what the risks are.”
Steinhafel’s tenure has been tested with many challenges, from a weak economy to a proxy fight. The company, known for its cheap chic clothing and home decor, has seen uneven sales since the recession ended and has battled a perception that its prices aren’t as low as its rivals.
Under Steinhafel’s leadership, the company has won kudos for expanding into fresh groceries and offered a 5 percent discount to customers who use its branded debit and credit cards. In 2009, he successfully defended the company against a proxy fight against activist hedge fund manager William Ackman, who was pushing his own slate of candidates to the board.
But the company recently has been faced with fiercer competition from Amazon.com   and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Recently, difficulties with expansion in Canada, Target’s first foray outside the U.S., has hurt profits. But the breach was the biggest black eye on Steinhafel’s tenure.
“Ultimately, too much rained down on Gregg Steinhafel,” said Brian Sozzi, CEO and chief equities strategist at Belus Capital Advisors. “There was no way he could escape the black vortex of news.”
In March, Target said in it annual report that the breach has spawned dozens of legal actions and said it can’t estimate how big the financial tab will be. It also acknowledged separately that security software picked up on suspicious activity after the cyberattack was launched, but the company decided not to take immediate action because it believed it did not warrant immediate follow-up.
Target’s response since disclosing the breach has included free credit monitoring for affected customers and overhaul of security systems.
Steinhafel’s departure comes two months after the company announced that Chief Information Officer Beth Jacob resigned. Last week, Target named Bob DeRodes, who has 40 years of experience in information technology, as its new chief information officer.
Target said it is continuing its search for a chief information security officer and a chief compliance officer.
Target also said last week that MasterCard Inc. will provide its branded credit and debit cards with a more secure chip-and-PIN technology next year. That will make Target the first major U.S. retailer to have store cards with this technology.
Steinhafel has faced increasing pressure since it was revealed on Dec. 19 that a data breach compromised 40 million credit and debit card accounts between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15. Then on Jan. 10, the company said hackers also stole personal information — including names, phone numbers as well as email and mailing addresses — from as many as 70 million customers.


Retail's Highest and Lowest Paid Employees

Posted by Picasa
CEO Gregg Steinhafel's total compensation:  $19.7 million.
Sales floor team member:   $8.29 an hour.

How long a crew member would have to work to make CEO annual pay: 2.4 million hours or 1,143 years.

CEO Michael Duke's total compensation:   $18.1 million.

Average sales associate salary:  $8.84 an hour. 

How long a crew member would have to work to make CEO annual pay: 2.1 million hours or 986 years.

CEO Brian Dunn's total compensation:   $7.1 million.

Average sales associate salary:  $9.73 an hour.

How long a crew member would have to work to make CEO annual pay: 730,000 hours or 350 years.


Don't forget to look at these Target sites:


Target Ignored Malware Warnings, Could Have Prevented Data Breach

The biggest retail hack in U.S. history wasn’t particularly inventive, nor did it appear destined for success. In the days prior to Thanksgiving 2013, someone installed malware in Target’s (TGT) security and payments system designed to steal every credit card used at the company’s 1,797 U.S. stores. At the critical moment—when the Christmas gifts had been scanned and bagged and the cashier asked for a swipe—the malware would step in, capture the shopper’s credit card number, and store it on a Target server commandeered by the hackers.

It’s a measure of how common these crimes have become, and how conventional the hackers’ approach in this case, that Target was prepared for such an attack. Six months earlier the company began installing a $1.6 million malware detection tool made by the computer security firm FireEye (FEYE), whose customers also include the CIA and the Pentagon. Target had a team of security specialists in Bangalore to monitor its computers around the clock.

If Bangalore noticed anything suspicious, Target’s security operations center in Minneapolis would be notified.

On Saturday, Nov. 30, the hackers had set their traps and had just one thing to do before starting the attack: plan the data’s escape route. As they uploaded exfiltration malware to move stolen credit card numbers—first to staging points spread around the U.S. to cover their tracks, then into their computers in Russia—FireEye spotted them. Bangalore got an alert and flagged the security team in Minneapolis. And then …

Nothing happened.

For some reason, Minneapolis didn’t react to the sirens. Bloomberg Businessweek spoke to more than 10 former Target employees familiar with the company’s data security operation, as well as eight people with specific knowledge of the hack and its aftermath, including former employees, security researchers, and law enforcement officials. The story they tell is of an alert system, installed to protect the bond between retailer and customer, that worked beautifully. But then, Target stood by as 40 million credit card numbers—and 70 million addresses, phone numbers, and other pieces of personal information—gushed out of its mainframes.

See the entire article at:

and also see:  http://www.aol.com/article/2014/03/14/businessweek-target-didnt-act-on-data-breach-alerts/20849980/?icid=maing-grid7%7Chtmlws-main-bb%7Cdl24%7Csec1_lnk2%26pLid%3D453846


Target's Chief Info Security Officer 'Quits'

In a 3/5/14 AP article by AP's Anne D'Innocenzio titled:  'Target Tech Chief Resigns as It Overhauls Security' Tarbutt's Chief Information Officer Ms. Beth Jacobs quit having held the position since 2008 with teams in the US and India.  

Of course it was most likely a firing but it sounds better if it is
announced as a resignation.  CEO Steinhafel's PR attempt to put lipstick on a pig said that Tarbutt will look for a interim CIO for the transformation and then hire outside personnel for the posts of chief information security officer and a chief compliance officer.

Currently Target is using  Promontory Financial Group in an attempt to find out what happened in the Mid-December data theft and improve its flawed technology.  Work continues on its $100 million plan to move from the magnetic stripe cards to the more secure chip type card.  

The full AP article is available at:  


Target's Canadian stores lose nearly $1 billion US in under one year

 Full story at:  http://www.vancouversun.com/business/Target+Canadian+stores+lose+nearly+billion+since+opening+last/9553242/story.html

Target Corp.'s Canadian stores lost nearly US $1 billion in less than a year of operations as the Minneapolis-based discount retailer began its first expansion outside the United States.  For the full year, the Canadian segment lost US $941 billion before excluded items on US $1.3 billion of sales. Target said its annual gross margin rate was 14.9 per cent.

Hopes had been high last year when the chic discount retailer announced it was opening its first stores in Canada after buying some of the properties from the now-defunct Zellers chain.

Since its arrival in March, the retailer has faced high expansion costs and disappointing sales as shoppers complained about near-empty shelves and notably higher prices than at U.S. Target stores.

Despite the rocky start, Target announced last month that it will be continuing with its Canadian expansion with the opening of nine more stores this year.  It plans on opening two locations in Mississauga, Ont., and one store each in Toronto, Ottawa and Barrie, Ont. Stores will also be added in Edmonton, Victoria, Winnipeg and Candiac, Que.

Five of the locations will be in former Zellers locations, while the others will be newly constructed stores.  By the end of 2014,, Target said it will have a total of 133 locations in Canada.


Although 'old' news in blogosphere terms the Tucson Weekly article about long term employees being fired on bogus disciplinary claims is still getting comments, it is now up to 100 with the latest put up 4/4/14 and it looks like the article hits home with a lot of Targets employees.  

Read it yourself at the link below and see my own comments on the matter over the years as I will repost them below FYI -

Getting the Ax
Longtime Tucson Target employees say they were forced out because of their higher salaries

article found at:  http://www.tucsonweekly.com/tucson/getting-the-ax/Content?oid=1830574


Getting the Ax at Tarbutt

If you want to look at the 7 page Lavonne C. Beckford v. Target Corporation case, filed initally in Pima County Superior Court and quickly removed to U.S. District Court on 6/16/08 you can read it at:http://targetfiling.blogspot.com/2010/02/lavonne-beckford-v-target-corp_27.html
It complains of 'Employment Discrimination, Wrongful Discharge and Violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The 3 page Civil Docket for the case is also provided along with the 4 page Target 'Answer to Complaint', the case is in the deposition phase at present.
I am providing some extracts here of an article that came to my attention. It was extensive, at 3,300 words, with loads of details and a nice selection of ‘comments’. So here is a teaser of the Tucson Weekly article. As you will read most of the people let go have been Black and Hispanic, replaced by 'college graduates' read 'white' here, and the article also put me onto the pending civil suit for discrimination mentioned above with link.

Getting the Ax - February 25, 2010
Longtime Tucson Target employees say they were forced out because of their higher salaries
by Mari Herreras at: mherreras@tucsonweekly.com
See the full article at:http://www.tucsonweekly.com/tucson/getting-the-ax/Content?oid=1830574

“According to Manny Lovio, after 26 years with Target he was asked to quit. When he refused, he was fired. He was escorted to his desk to clean out his belongings and then guided out of the store in front of co-workers and customers.
. . . shortly after his dismissal, his best friend at the company, Lavonne Beckford, was also fired. And over the last five years, other longtime employees he knew from his early days at Target were also forced to quit or were fired. The former co-workers started meeting with each other and sharing their stories.

They say they began to notice a pattern. Their group, mostly hired in the '80s, had each been with the retail company for 20 years or more. Most of them were salaried executives, making more than $50,000 a year, sometimes even more. Besides the wages, the employees had full benefits, and most were eligible for up to five weeks of vacation. "They could hire two or three people at the price they were paying us," Lovio says.

According to a former Target manager . . . Lovio and his former co-workers are right. Target is all about image, so getting rid of older employees is a good way to make room for younger executives.

They look better, and the moves save money, he says. The manager worked for the company for 21 years with Beckford and Lovio. "Mostly, I saw that. . . as you got older and your pay increased, the feeling was that you were a problem," he says.

During management meetings, the long-time employees identified as problems were called "blockers," he says.

"It was understood that I could hire someone 10 years younger than these people, at half the pay, and they had college degrees. I'd sit during the management meetings, and we'd identify who is a 'blocker'—which meant they needed to leave the company," he says.

The former manager says layoffs or buyouts of long-time employees would have cost the company money, so instead, the corporation put pressure on the store managers.

"We were told to figure out how to get rid of these blockers that cost too much money," he said. José Garcia figures he was probably considered a blocker when he was fired from Target on Dec. 14, 2008, after working for the company for 21 years.

Lavonne Beckford, a former Target employee filed a discrimination lawsuit against the retail company in 2008.

When Target spokesperson Sarah Soriano was first contacted, she denied that Target was being sued for discrimination in Tucson, and said the company hadn't been served. However, Soriano called back later and said she misspoke, confirming Target is in the midst of a lawsuit filed by Beckford. "Unfortunately, I can't comment on any litigation or any of these specific allegations," Soriano says.

When asked if "blocker" is a word used by Target management to describe executive team leaders who've been identified as being with the company for too long, Soriano says it isn't a term used in Target corporate culture.” 

The above is a small part of the long article, you should take a look at the entire post, it ran 6 pages when I printed it out. It is worth a read.


Long term employees at Tarbutt are called 'blockers'

Got 20 years in at Tarbutt?  You won't be around much longer as a group of former longtime Target employees found when they were shown the door because they were costing the company too much money.  You don't retire at Target - you get fired!

How did this work out for them?  Take a look further down this blog at the Oct 1, 2012 post or for more details see the seperate blog site of Lavonne C. Beckford v. Target Corporation at:http://beckfordvtarget.blogspot.com 

An Arizona case that started out in a local court and was transferred to Federal Court. 

A former manager said: "It was understood that I could hire someone 10 years younger than these people, at half the pay, and they had college degrees. I'd sit during the management meetings, and we'd identify who is a 'blocker'—which meant they needed to leave the company . . . "We were told to figure out how to get rid of these blockers that cost too much money,"

see this Tucson Weekly article in full at:  http://www.tucsonweekly.com/tucson/getting-the-ax/Content?oid=1830574


Prices are dropping on those stolen cards -

If you have been waiting for the price drop to buy some of those cards stolen last December from Tarbutt then this is the time to buy.  

The old prices of between $27 and $45 are now replaced by bargain basement prices of $8 to $28 per card and on Feb 19th, 3,000,000 were sold.

The older the info gets the more chance that the card has been cancelled the rate for getting a dud number is about 40% so hurry and get your orders in so you can get a lot of free stuff courtesy of Tarbutt.

Full article at:  http://consumerist.com/2014/02/20/millions-of-credit-cards-stolen-from-target-being-sold-at-closeout-prices/


Massive Target Hack Traced Back To Phishing Email
Posted: 02/12/2014 3:56 pm EST

Full story at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/12/target-hack_n_4775640.html

Hackers gained access to Target's computer system and stole financial and personal data of 110 million shoppers by tricking an employee at an outside vendor into clicking on a malicious email, according to a report Wednesday by security blogger Brian Krebs.

An employee at Fazio Mechanical, a Sharpsburg, Pa.-based heating, ventilation and air-conditioning company with access to Target's network, fell for a "spear phishing” attack, in which hackers send malware-laced emails that appear to come from trusted sources to take over victims' computers, according to Krebs, who cited sources close to the investigation.

The company said it had remote access to Target’s computer network “for electronic billing, contract submission and project management.”

Krebs reported that Fazio Mechanical may not have realized the phishing attack at first because the company was using a free anti-malware program that “does not offer real-time protection against threats.”


Credit Union Sues Target Over Credit Card Hack
By Chris Morran February 3, 2014

(me and the sysop)A credit union in Pennsylvania has filed a lawsuit, one that could potentially include 100 other credit unions as plaintiffs, against Target in an attempt to recoup is losses in the wake of the retailer’s recent massive data breach.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that First Choice Federal Credit Union in New Castle, PA, filed the suit in a federal court in Pittsburgh on Friday.

Details at:  http://www.post-gazette.com/local/region/2014/02/03/New-Castle-credit-union-sues-Target-for-costs-associated-with-data-loss/stories/201402030116


Hackers Used Stolen Vendor Credentials for their Data Theft

The first details on how the breach may have been made possible  show that “forensic investigation has indicated that the intruder stole a vendor’s credentials, which were used to access our system,” a Target spokeswoman told Reuters in a statement.

The malware used in the breach shows that the user account “Best1_user” and password “BackupU$r” were used to log in to a shared drive that had been set up by the hackers on Target’s internal network to collect all the stolen card information.

“That username is the same one that gets installed with an IT management software suite called Performance Assurance for Microsoft Servers. This product, according to its maker — Houston, Texas base BMC Software — includes administrator-level user account called ‘Best1_user.’”

The Secret Service has taken the lead investigating the breaches at Target and other retailers, including Neiman Marcus and Michaels Companies Inc, the largest U.S. arts and crafts retailer.

For additional info see:  http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/01/30/us-usa-justice-target-idUSBREA0S1AE20140130


Banks Say Target Hack Has Cost Them $153 Million In Replacement Cards

U.S. banks have spent more than $153 million so far replacing 15.3 million debit and credit cards after the huge data heist from Target Corp., and the numbers are only growing.

The Consumer Bankers Association announced the numbers Tuesday, saying that as more retailers announce breaches, the price tag for banks could grow to “hundreds of millions of dollars, and possibly billions.”

It’s time for Target to step up to the plate and pay some of the costs for one of the largest data thefts recorded in the United States, the industry group said.

The theft affected as many as many as 110 million people and remains under investigation, as lawsuits accusing Target of failing to adequately protect sensitive customer information pile up in courts across the country.

The Minneapolis-based retailer has at least $100 million of cyber insurance and $65 million of directors and officers liability coverage, according to Business Insurance magazine, citing unnamed industry sources.

Banks have been scrambling to address the fallout from the Target breach with their customers. Some are replacing cards only when customers make the request or there is evidence of fraudulent charges.

Others, including Wayzata-based TCF Financial Corp. and U.S. Bancorp in Minneapolis, have taken the “replace them all” approach to cards that shoppers used in Target stores during the 19-day breach from Nov. 27 to Dec. 15.

The Consumer Bankers Association estimates that it costs an average of $10 for banks to replace a card, which is higher than the $4 to $5 figure often cited.  The 15.3 million cards replaced to date is a relatively small number given that U.S. shoppers carry 1.5 billion credit and debit cards, noted David Robertson, publisher of the Nilson Report.

The unanticipated spike in orders for new cards has sent card manufacturers into overtime. Giesecke & Devrient, one of the world’s largest card manufacturers, said it’s been adding shifts and hours to get the orders processed, as well as shifting jobs to facilities around the globe to balance the load.

Full article at:  http://www.startribune.com/business/242505661.html?page=all&prepage=1&c=y#continue


Scammers charging $9.84 to stolen credit card numbers
Jan 29th 2014 11:52AM

A new credit card scam has surfaced. The Better Business Bureau says credit card users should be looking for a small and specific amount of money that might have been stolen.

HLN explains that 'if you see a charge for $9.84 on your credit card statement, you may have been scammed. And for some reason, the sum of $9.84 keeps cropping up.'

But, why would thieves go after such a small amount of money? 'Good Morning America' says it's, well, hard to notice.

'Scammers are now testing stolen credit card numbers by charging small amounts on them at first. ... Scammers apparently believing most will overlook such a small amount on an itemized bill.'

An anchor at KHOU called the small charge $9.84 a quote 'sneaky' way to steal money.

The BBB put out a national alert on the matter Monday - and instructed people to call their banks if they see the charges.

Full article at:  


Is Target Shaving Workers’ Hours So It Doesn’t Have To Insure Them?

see the full article at:  

In this Consumerist article it mentions that "Target announced that it would no longer offer health insurance to part-time employees (those who work fewer than 32 hours per week), while at the same time claiming that it would not be trimming employees’ schedules so that they no longer qualify as full-time workers. However, some Target employees tell Consumerist that company execs aren’t telling the truth.

“Recently these teams have been having their hours cut below 30 and they have been supplementing them by having sales floor people help with their workloads during their normal shifts,” writes the Target vet.

The employee says this is not just affecting sales floor staff but specialty teams — the price change team, planogram team, in-stock team — that had traditionally been full-time jobs.

He estimates that the recent changes have cut the number of insurance-eligible employees at his store by 80%. Additionally, he says that his store is now hiring primarily part-time workers, something it had never done after the holiday season.

Consumerist asks for employees to provide additional details to them via tips@consumerist.com


Target eliminates 475 jobs at Minneapolis headquarters

Target Corp. is laying off 475 employees at its corporate headquarters in downtown Minneapolis and not filling 700 open positions, sources told the Star Tribune.

Target employs about 11,000 people at its downtown headquarters on Nicollet Mall, and a total of 14,000 corporate employees in Minnesota. The company has approximately 360,000 employees in all, mostly spread around its 1,900 stores in the U.S. and Canada.

A woman who was laid off from Target’s finance department said half of her 12-person department was let go in a meeting Wednesday morning, and the other half will be laid off in the next month.

She said laid-off workers in finance will be replaced by workers in India and contractors. The layoffs, she said, have been in the works for more than six months.  

(This blog reported extensively on Tarbutt in India at:  http://targetfiling.blogspot.com/2009/12/see-all-happy-indians-they-are-happy.html also:  http://www.naymz.com/britanee_pelikan_1706080 and 

“They just sent out a memo saying we had a mandatory meeting at such-and-such time saying that you guys are being let go as of today,” said the woman, who asked not to be identified for fear that her severance could be affected.

A Target spokesman said it’s not clear if more layoffs are coming, but he wouldn’t be surprised.

Any jobs cut on Wednesday would have to either be at corporate headquarters or at distribution centers, Yarbrough said.  The new job-cutting action follows a decision in October to eliminate about 150 jobs in the Twin Cities in what was then described as a reorganization.

See  more at: www.startribune.com/business/241503611.html

 Experts: Target Hackers Will Be Tough to Find
by The Associated Press Jan 22nd 2014

"After thieves purchase the numbers, they can encode the data onto new, blank cards with an inexpensive, easy-to-use gadget. Or they can skip the card-writing process and simply use the card numbers online.

Crooks often have the option to buy cards last used in their area. That way, Wisniewski says, the cards attract less attention from the banks that issued them.

According to police, the pair arrested at the U.S.-Mexican border used cards containing the account information of Target shoppers from South Texas. Police say the two used fraudulent cards to purchase numerous items at national retailers in the area.

The underground markets always have a steady supply of card numbers on sale and their locations are always moving as they try to elude law enforcement, says Daniel Ingevaldson, chief technology officer at Easy Solutions Inc., a firm that sells anti-fraud products and tracks the activity of the online black markets. A big jump in inventory usually indicates there's been a breach of a major retailer. That's what Ingevaldson's firm saw in the cases of both Target and Neiman Marcus, which also recently reported a breach.

While many of these online bazaars and forums are based in Russia and Eastern Europe, much of the chatter is in English and appears to have been written by Americans, Ingevaldson says.

The types of criminals who buy the card numbers run the gamut, ranging from purely online white-collar crooks to street gangs.

"In reality, card numbers can be bought by anybody with access to the forums and a few Bitcoins in their pocket," Ingevaldson says.

Wisniewski says the people who buy card numbers online and produce the fake cards aren't the ones who try to use them. Using the cards is the riskiest part of the fraud scheme, so the task is usually farmed out to others who are often recruited through spam emails. The recruiters then send them fraudulent debit and credit cards and instruct them to buy large quantities of expensive merchandise or gift cards in exchange for a small percentage of their value.

Card users, once caught, often only have a handler's email address to share with police, making it nearly impossible to find the recruiters, Wisniewski says.

Both analysts say Russia and former Soviet countries are a hotbed for hackers behind these kinds of schemes. The region has a large population of highly educated computer science professionals and law enforcement is extremely lax when it comes to fraud that occurs overseas and not in the hackers' home country.

Wisniewski and Ingevaldson also believe the original authors of the malicious software used in the Target breach are likely based in Russia or Eastern Europe, as some reports on the breach have suggested. But it's unlikely the original programmers do any hacking themselves. They can make a nice living simply selling the code to those who do."

Read the entire article at: 


Tarbutt throws PT Employees under the bus!

Target will drop health insurance for its part-time employees

Target Corp. said Tuesday that it will stop offering health insurance to its part-time employees because new online health exchanges offer workers an opportunity to buy coverage.  Instead they  will give each worker $500 to help buy health insurance
Less than 10 percent of its workforce of about 361,000 participates in the health plan for part-time workers.  A number of companies, including Walgreens, Sears Holdings, Petco and Darden Restaurants, this year moved their entire workforce to private exchanges.
The change goes into effect April 1, the company’s normal open-enrollment period. It will affect those who average 20 to 31 hours a week.
Part-time workers are still eligible for other benefits, including wellness plans, a matching 401(k) retirement plan, vacation, dental, disability and life insurance.  

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