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Target’s Steinhafel reaches out to consumers in wake of payment card hacking

BY Alaric DeArment

MINNEAPOLIS — The chief executive of Target is reaching out to consumers in the wake of the widespread hacking of credit and debit card data at Target stores that the company confirmed last week.

In a statement on the mass-merchandise retailer’s website, president, chairman and CEO Gregg Steinhafel sought to ameliorate customers’ worries about the possibility that their cards were compromised. He emphasized that the issue had been "identified and eliminated," while the retailer extended a 10% discount to customers who shopped at its stores on Saturday and Sunday.

"We want our guests to understand that just because they shopped at Target during the impacted time frame, it doesn’t mean they are victims of fraud," Steinhafel said. "In fact, in other similar situations, there are typically low levels of actual fraud. Most importantly, we want to reassure guests that they will not be held financially responsible for any credit and debit card fraud."

The company confirmed last week that there was an unauthorized access to payment card data for about 40 million customers between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15. The scale of the hacking was enough that it was a top story in many media outlets around the country, including the New York Times and others. However, it appears that it only affected customers who shopped at the retailer’s brick-and-mortar stores, not its website.

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Harris Teeter opens new supermarket, pharmacy in Summerville, N.C.

BY Michael Johnsen

MATTHEWS, N.C. — Harris Teeter on Friday announced its first store opening in Summerville, N.C. with a ribbon cutting ceremony that morning.

The Corner at Wescott Harris Teeter will be open 24 hours, and the Harris Teeter pharmacy will be open seven days per week, as well.

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Reports: New York bans electronic cigarettes in public venues

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — The New York City Council has voted to ban electronic cigarettes in such public venues as bars, restaurants, beaches, parks and office buildings, according to published reports.

The council’s 43-8 vote means e-cigarettes will be subject to the same strict laws as their traditional, tobacco-based counterparts. The use of e-cigarettes, known as "vaping," has been touted as a safer alternative to smoking. E-cigarettes are battery-powered devices that mimic the look and feel of tobacco cigarettes by vaporizing nicotine-infused liquid, which is often flavored.

At a press conference, council member Christine Quinn said that despite their promotion as healthier, they created the risk that they would "renormalize smoking in public places."

New York has some of the toughest anti-tobacco laws in the country and recently raised the age for buying tobacco to 21, making it the first major city to do so. Other jurisdictions — such as New Jersey, Utah and North Dakota — have banned e-cigarettes in places that prohibit smoking.

 

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