Transparency Is The Key For Forever 21 As It Investigates Potential Data Breach

Fast fashion retailer Forever 21 confirmed in a statement that it is investigating a claim that it suffered a data breach at stores from March to October 2017. But the retailer should be taking the desires of its Millennial and Gen Z shopper demographic more seriously if it wants to stay in their good graces, especially as the holiday season kicks into gear.

An unnamed third party suggested that cybercriminals may have had unauthorized access to data from payment cards used at certain Forever 21 stores, according to the statement. Forever 21 immediately began an investigation of its payment card systems and engaged a security and forensics firm to assist.

Forever 21 expects to provide an additional notice as it gets further clarity on the specific stores and timeframes that may have been involved. But while the retailer was quick to get out in front of the news, it could have done a better job conveying that message to its target audience of Millennial and Gen Z shoppers, according to Matt Rizzetta, CEO of North 6th Agency (N6A), a brand communications and social media agency. Rizzetta noted that while the statement was effective on a broad label, it was too vague and didn’t showcase enough transparency and clarity into potential solutions.

“Example A is a statement that is generic, broad, and the goal is communicating that to a mass audience and doing enough to get the job done and conveying that the brand is on the case and taking measures,” Rizzetta said in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “For that A situation, the statement that Forever 21 delivered…