BUSINESS

Target Inevitably Loses Shoppers In Wake Of Data Breach

MIAMI, FL - DECEMBER 19:  Carts are seen outside of a arget store on December 19, 2013 in Miami, Florida. Target announced th
MIAMI, FL - DECEMBER 19: Carts are seen outside of a arget store on December 19, 2013 in Miami, Florida. Target announced that about 40 million credit and debit card accounts of customers who made purchases by swiping their cards at terminals in its U.S. stores between November 27 and December 15 may have been stolen. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Dec 23 (Reuters) - In the wake of a massive data breach, Target Corp suffered reduced customer traffic over one of the busiest shopping weekends of the year, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The number of transactions at Target fell 3 to 4 percent compared with last year's final weekend before Christmas, while, transactions at other retailers were strong, the Journal said, citing estimates by retail consultancy Customer Growth Partners LLC.

Target said on Thursday that hackers had stolen data from as many as 40 million credit and debit cards of shoppers who visited its stores during the first three weeks of the holiday season.

Have you been affected by the recent theft of credit and debit card data at Target stores? Email our reporter Gerry Smith gerald.smith@huffingtonpost.com

At least 2 million shoppers who used bank debit cards at Target stores during its recent data breach are facing lower limits on how much cash they can take out of teller machines and spend at stores.

"This is the worst possible time something like this could happen," Craig Johnson, president of Customer Growth Partners told the Journal. ()

The consultancy firm estimates that U.S. retail sales on Saturday totaled $17 billion, exceeding those on Black Friday by $2 billion, according to the paper.

A Target spokeswoman declined to comment to the Journal specifically on this weekend's results, saying the retailer reports sales on a quarterly basis.

Target could not immediately be reached for comment by Reuters outside of regular U.S. business hours.

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