Glitch Preventing Target Customers From Making Purchases Has Been Fixed
Target said a systemwide outage that prevented customers from making purchases at its stores on Saturday has been fixed. The two-hour outage, which affected its cash registers, was caused by an internal technology problem, the retail chain said, without giving further details. “After an initial but thorough review, we can confirm that this was not a data breach or security-related issues and no guest information was compromised at any time," Target said in a statement published on Saturday.
Reportedly, Target experienced a second outage on Sunday that caused long lines and forced some customers to pay with cash because its credit card systems were down, as well as the Target system itself. Target uses a separate vendor to accept payments, and since that vendor experienced an issue at one of its data centers, the retailer was unable to process certain card payments at some stores for about 90 minutes. Target said it while it wasn't clear how many stores were affected, it did confirm that no payment information was compromised and that the issue was unrelated to Saturday’s trouble.
Total Retail's Take: The technical malfunction came the day before Father's Day, one of the busiest shopping days of the year for Target. And while the issue was resolved relatively quickly, the event just as quickly became bad PR for the company. In fact, many customers shared images and videos of long lines and angry shoppers on social media. The hashtag #targetdown was a trending topic Twitter for a short time. Target did the best it could with damage control, alerting the public about the outage shortly after it happened.
"We’re aware that guests are currently unable to make purchases at Target stores," the company tweeted. "Our teams are troubleshooting now and we apologize for the inconvenience. We will provide an update as soon as possible." Also, upon discovering the problem, stores began positioning associates at entrances to inform customers of the situation. All things considered, Target handled the outage well and did all that it could to help ease customers’ problems. Target may have lost some short-term sales, but as an isolated incident, I don’t see it having any lasting impact.