Sally Beauty is investigating a second possible hacking in just over a year, after reports of unusual activity on payment cards used in some US stores.

In March last year, the beauty supplies retailer admitted hackers had stolen sensitive information about 25,000 customers, including payment card numbers and security codes. 

In a statement issued yesterday Sally Beauty said, “Since learning of these reports, we have been working with law enforcement and our credit card processor and have launched a comprehensive investigation with the help of a leading third-party forensics expert to aggressively gather facts while working to ensure our customers are protected.

“Until this investigation is completed, it is difficult to determine with certainty the scope or nature of any potential incident, but we will continue to work vigilantly to address any potential issues that may affect our customers.”

The company urged any concerned customers to contact their customer services helpline and said it would provide updates as the investigation continued.

After last year’s hacking, the company enlisted the forensics unit of Verizon Enterprise Solutions to investigate and also worked with the US Secret Service.

Texas-based Sally Beauty operates as a specialty retailer and distributor of professional beauty supplies primarily in North America, South America, and Europe.

It has 4,900 global locations, including 2,700 stores in the US and has annual revenue of US$3.8bn.