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Theft Hits Polo Shares

NEW YORK — Shares of Polo Ralph Lauren on Thursday fell 3.3 percent in trading after the disclosure that the credit card information of some customers may have been compromised.<BR><BR>Polo’s stock closed at $37.18, down $1.28, in New York...

NEW YORK — Shares of Polo Ralph Lauren on Thursday fell 3.3 percent in trading after the disclosure that the credit card information of some customers may have been compromised.

Polo’s stock closed at $37.18, down $1.28, in New York Stock Exchange trading.

“Since being informed in fall 2004 that some credit card information of its customers may have been misappropriated, Polo Ralph Lauren has worked diligently with law enforcement officials and credit card companies to determine the origin and the extent of the compromise,” a Polo spokeswoman said Thursday.

“The company did learn that certain credit card information may have been retained and stored in its point-of-sale software. The company took immediate steps to purge this data and cure the problem. The company is confident that its credit card system is secure, and that our customers’ credit card information is properly protected,” she added.

The Wall Street Journal reported that criminals may have obtained access to the information of 180,000 cardholders of General Motors-branded Master Card credit cards issued by HSBC Holdings PLC who used the cards to shop at Polo stores. They were notified by HSBC that they should get new cards.