False date posted on Ward Web site for chain's closing

January 01, 2001|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

On Friday morning, the Montgomery Ward Web site said the 128-year-old retailer, which is going out of business, would shut its doors Jan. 15. But that date is wrong - the work of computer hackers, company officials say.

The chain has not decided when to close its 250 stores and 10 distribution centers, company spokeswoman Joyce Pemberton said yesterday.

Corporate officials are looking for the person responsible for the misleading posting, which was signed by a David Hogan, purportedly the chief operating officer. Montgomery Ward's chief executive officer is Roger Goddu.

The Sun was one of the victims. An article on the retailer in Saturday's editions was culled from wire services that had used the Web site date.

"We've never had the problem before," Pemberton said. "We immediately took the site down" after discovering the false announcement.

Pemberton said it will take several months to close down all of the stores.

The company, which is based in Chicago and has stores in 30 states, operates 13 stores in the Baltimore-Washington region.

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