Turning the TJX breach into a money-making opportunity

Sales usually coincide with a holiday or an occasion that conjures up images of backyard barbecuing and family gatherings. Think President's Day Weekend, Fourth of July, Day after Thanksgiving.

In the case of discount clothing retailer TJX, their planned three-day "customer appreciation" event next year - when prices will be slashed 15 percent storewide - has come about as part of a settlement with customers over its huge data breach. And if you were one of the 45.7 million lucky ones whose personal information was exposed in the intrusion, you will even get a $30 or $60 voucher that you can spend anytime - or take to the sale.

Boy, I can't wait to get some designer ties and...

Wait a minute here.

How the heck did TJX just turn the biggest reported data breach in U.S. history and turn it into a marketing gimmick?

Since the breach was revealed in January, the Framingham, Mass.-based company, with some 2,500 retail outlets in the United States, has put the spin machine on full throttle in an attempt to keep customers coming back. And while profits have slipped as a result of a bulky reserve to cover breach-related costs, such as pending lawsuits, sales are up.

And I'm guessing the throngs will show up for the TJX Data Breach Sales Blowout Extravaganza, or how ever they plan to promote the thing. And I'm guessing some of these customers may even come bearing a voucher.

I just hope that group isn't so willing to pay with credit card again.

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