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In Brief: TJX Data Theft… Wal-Mart Health Ruling… Williams Exits Warnaco

TJX Cos. said Wednesday that an unknown amount of data relating to debit, check and credit card transactions had been stolen from its internal databases, and could affect T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, HomeGoods, A.J. Wright and possibly Bob's Stores customers.

TJX DATA THEFT: TJX Cos. said Wednesday that an unknown amount of data relating to debit, check and credit card transactions had been stolen from its internal databases, and could affect T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, HomeGoods, A.J. Wright and possibly Bob’s Stores customers. Shoppers in Canada, Puerto Rico and the U.K., where the company operates stores under several different banners, might also be affected. The Framingham, Mass.-based retailer said it retained investigators to determine the extent of the theft and added security measures to prevent further break-ins. It released no further details. Customers should “carefully review their credit card and debit card statements and account information for unauthorized use,” said Ben Cammarata, chairman and acting chief executive officer.

WAL-MART HEALTH RULING: A U.S. appeals court ruled 2-1 on Wednesday that Maryland violated federal law by requiring Wal-Mart to boost spending on health insurance for employees. The state legislature last year passed a measure to compel major employers to spend the equivalent of 8 percent of their payrolls on health care, targeting the bill at one company — Wal-Mart — and triggering similar moves in other states. In upholding a lower court decision, the appeals court panel concluded that Maryland violated a law intended to permit an employer to create a uniform system of health benefits nationwide.

WILLIAMS EXITS WARNACO: Roger Williams has resigned as group president of swimwear for Warnaco Group Inc., citing personal reasons. Williams, who held the post since May 2002, could not be reached for comment on his plans. Warnaco has initiated a search to fill the job, but in the interim, Speedo president Sherry Waterson and Paula Schneider, president of designer swimwear, will share responsibilities and report to Joe Gromek, Warnaco’s president and chief executive officer.

STORMY WEATHER: A sleet and ice storm Wednesday morning delayed or prevented the opening of some retailers in Dallas. Stores at NorthPark Center, Galleria Dallas and Highland Park Village shopping center were among those affected. However, roads had thawed by afternoon and most businesses were open.