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Poll: Minnesotans aren't straying from Target, despite data breach

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A new Star Tribune poll finds that 82 percent of respondents are shopping at Target stores just as much as they did before a holiday-season data breach that compromised the personal information of millions of customers.

Just 11 percent said they will shop at the Minneapolis-based retailer less often; 5 percent said they were not ever going back, the newspaper poll found.

The breach hurt Target's all-important holiday profits, the company said in a Jan. 10 financial update, but Target has not offered a more complete update in recent weeks.

Analyst Brian Yarbrough told the Star Tribune that for Target, “By late spring, end of summer, you’ll be back to more normal business trends."

In other Target news:

– The cyber-security journalist Brian Krebs, who has been leading coverage of the Target breach story, reported on Wednesday that the cyber thieves who have been selling pilfered customer information on online black markets are now having trouble unloading the data. The information was far more valuable before banks started canceling all the card numbers, and now the criminals are having to sell at cut-rate prices. Cards that went for $26.60 to $44.80 apiece right after the breach are now retailing for $8 to $28.

– The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday published a story that examined what was going on inside Target as executives tried to contain the cyber-crime. Among the story's details: Target squashed a plan to launch an advertising blitz during the Sochi Olympics.

– Offering a preview of what the breach might ultimately cost, Minnesota's credit unions on Wednesday said that they had to pay $750,000 in added expenses because of the breach, largely due to replaced cards (that doesn't include the cost of any fraudulent purchases). And that's just one state.

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