North American stores are targeted in hack as payment data is compromised.

Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor customers should keep a close watch on their bank accounts after five million customers’ details were stolen by hackers in a huge data breach.

Personal information including payment card data was swiped by hackers from a number of stores in North America.

Although the breach has now reportedly been contained, up to five million people were affected by the incident.

Customers are being advised to check their accounts and report any suspicious activity to their bank.

Saks and Lord & Taylor are owned by the Hudson’s Bay Company.

No other stores owned by the parent company are expected to have been impacted.

The breach was made public on April 1, though it isn’t known when the issue was first discovered.

A statement by Saks Fifth Avenue read: “We have become aware of a data security issue involving customer payment card data at certain Saks Fifth Avenue, Saks OFF 5TH, and Lord & Taylor stores in North America.

“While the investigation is ongoing, there is no indication at this time that this affects our e-commerce or other digital platforms, Hudson’s Bay, Home Outfitters, or HBC Europe.

“We are working rapidly with leading data security investigators to get our customers the information they need, and our investigation is ongoing.

“We also are coordinating with law enforcement authorities and the payment card companies.”

The company has set up a dedicated helpline for customers, and claimed it will provide more information this week.