Hackers tried to snag credit card data from Jewel-Osco computers but there was no evidence as of Friday morning that any customer information was obtained, company officials said.
According to Jewel's parent company, AB Acquisition LLC, the unauthorized access appears to have started June 22 and ended on July 17 of this year.
The breach affected all Jewel-Osco stores in Illinois, Indiana and Iowa. Data may also have been obtained from cards used at stores carrying the following brands: Albertson's, Cub Foods, Farm Fresh, Hornbacher's, Shop 'n Save, Shoppers Food & Pharmacy, ACME Markets, Shaw's, and Star Markets.
Information technology services are provided to the stores by Supervalu.
"We understand the inconvenience and concern an incident like this can cause, and we deeply regret that our customers’ data was targeted," said Mark Bates, the company's chief information officer, in a statement posted to JewelOsco.com.
Although it hadn't yet been determined whether any cardholder data was in fact stolen, and there was no evidence to date of any misuse of such data, the company offered customers whose payment cards may have been affected 12 months of complimentary consumer identity protection services through AllClear ID. Beginning at 3 p.m. CT Friday, concerned customers can call AllClear ID at 1-855-865-4449.
Updated information will be posted to JewelOsco.com, the company said.
The intrusion is just the latest in a string of data breaches at major retailers.
Earlier this month, Target said that expenses tied to a breach leading up to last year's holiday shopping season could reach as high as $148 million. The incident led to a major shakeup and CEO Gregg Steinhafel resigned.
Restaurant operator P.F. Chang's confirmed in June that data from credit and debit cards used at its restaurants was stolen.
There have been smaller breaches at Neiman Marcus and Michaels Stores Inc., and even at Goodwill.
There are currently efforts underway to change the technology used in credit and debit cards to make consumer information more secure.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.