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American shoppers will avoid stores affected by data breaches this holiday season

This holiday season, almost half of Americans are likely to avoid shopping at stores that have been affected by data breaches, according to a new report.

The report found that 45 percent of major credit and debit card holders say they would “definitely” or “probably not” shop at a retailer where consumers’ personal information was exposed, even if they used to shop frequently at the store. This includes 29 percent of surveyed shoppers who would probably not shop there any longer, and 16 percent would definitely no longer shop there.

One in eight Americans say they are more likely to shop with credit cards this holiday season, and using credit cards over debit cards or cash is actually the right approach.

“It may sound weird, but the truth is that credit cards offer far greater consumer protections than debit cards, cash or other payment methods,” according to Matt Schulz,’s senior industry analyst. “This data seems to indicate that some consumers are getting the message.”

More Americans will also pay with cash this holiday season, with 48 percent of major credit and debit card holders planning to use cash over credit cards in response to the data breaches.

Large retailers expected to be most affected include Target, Home Depot and Neiman Marcus. These stores experienced data breaches in the past which may be why customers are hesitant to shop there again this season.

A silver lining for retailers is that the highest-income households are the least likely to avoid affected stores, and women are significantly more likely to continue shopping at affected stores than men.