Vera Bradley SoHo

Vera Bradley Inc. has informed its customers that it experienced a payment card incident at its stores between July 25 and Sept. 23 of this year. The incident did not affect online purchases and not all cards used in the stores during the time frame were affected.

The company received information from law enforcement on Sept. 15 that there had been a potential data security issue related to the retail store network. Vera Bradley launched an investigation and notified the payment card networks. The investigation showed that there was unauthorized access to the retailer’s payment processing system and there was a program installed that looked for payment card data.

The program was designed to find data in the magnetic stripe of the card like the card number, cardholder name, expiration date and verification code. Vera Bradley said there was no indication that other customer information was at risk.

Vera Bradley did not give any information as to whether any fraud had occurred as a result of the breach. The situation was halted and the company continues to work with the parties involved in the investigation. They are telling customers to be vigilant about unauthorized charges. They suggest placing a fraud alert or credit freeze on credit reports as a way to protect from unwanted credit cards being opened or unauthorized charges being made.

The company recently reported its second-quarter earnings with sales essentially flat from last year and in line with estimates. The company is repositioning its brand and launching a new e-commerce site. Vera Bradley also announced during its last earnings call that it had entered into 2 new publishing agreements. One will license the signature print for stationary and home office supplies. The other will feature design books. The company also said it expects to enter into additional licensing agreements in the future.

The stock is slipping almost 1 percent to $14.40, but over the past year has risen 15 percent.