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Target cash systems are backed up after a long breakdown



Target stores in Minnesota and across the country were paralyzed for several hours Saturday, when a malfunction in the system left frustrated customers unable to shop.

With patience, residents of Minnesota perform their weekend. Most Father's Day gift cards are celebrated on Sundays. Cashiers carefully entered the barcode numbers because the price scanners were not working. In many stores, abandoned carts filled with cluttered goods near the exits, left by customers who were short of time.

A stream of complaints began pouring in on social media platforms shortly before 1 pm, the Minneapolis-based retailer gave no immediate explanation and then responded that he was aware of the situation. A little over three hours later, the company announced that the records were back online and the payment lines were moving again.

"The temporary failure earlier in the day was the result of an internal technology problem that lasted for about two hours," said Target spokeswoman Katie Boylan. "Our technology team has been working quickly to identify and solve the problem, and we apologize for the inconvenience and frustration caused to our guests."

The company pointed out that she had not been hacked and that the problems only concerned her stores, not target.com.

Even after Boylan posted his statement, customers at some stores, including Edina Target, said they still saw problems. At 4:30 pm, Kelley Clawson of Minneapolis was stuck in an auto queue at the Edina store with about a dozen other people.

"These are long crazy queues," said Clawson, who was on what she thought was a quick break from her work nearby. "I did not expect to take half an hour online."

The Edina store finally regained its pace just before 5 pm, customers said.

Boylan later said that the pace of problems and solutions varied by store.

"Technological solutions of this nature tend to expand gradually to nearly 1,900 stores," she said. "We've seen different things across the country, different reports, different solutions … over time, it's hard to get specific answers about what that looks like."

Boylan said the company had made "a first thorough examination [and] can confirm that there is neither a data breach nor a security problem, and that no guest information is available. has been compromised at any time. "

A stained image

The failure of the Father's Day weekend rush hour system meant not only a loss of sales, but also a new problem for a company that had tried to impress customers on other occasions in recent times. years.

In June 2014, Target attributed a problem with its point-of-sale systems to a network device. In this case, the problem occurred on a Sunday evening and was resolved in a few hours.

In 2017, it agreed to pay $ 18.5 million for the settlement of claims from 47 states and Washington, and to end an investigation into a serious data breach that occurred in 2013. In this case, hackers accessed Target's gateway server via stolen credentials to a third party. party salesman.

Breakdown in big cities

The website downdetector.com showed information on Saturday's outage in major cities, including the twin cities of Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago, New York and Baltimore. The reports began to pique around noon.

Danielle Wilson's Twitter post summed up the thoughts of many frustrated shoppers: "It's easy to load your @Target cart on SATURDAY so that they can announce that ALL registries are down (one hour now)." Vegetables apparently melt, it's a global problem .It's the Apocalypse?!?! "

At the downtown Minneapolis store, employees at the door told customers they were welcome to shop, but they had warned them of long queues due to delays at the checkout. Most of the buyers seemed patiently resigned while they were waiting to buy cards, soft drinks, toothpaste and other items while the waiting line of about 50 people was moving forward. slowly.

"I thought the self-checkout would be quick, but it does not look like it," said Margaret Wainwright of Minneapolis.

Some stores, including those in Minneapolis and Richfield, were able to close sales, with employees working manually to resolve problems with the records. Store employees tried to reassure customers with free Starbucks and popcorn.

At the downtown store, cashier Jodi Chu of Minneapolis smiled, as it was only her second day at Target and her first use of the cash register. Sometimes a product could be successfully scanned, but most attempts resulted in error messages. For them, she had to enter prices, taxes and other information manually.

"I got really good training," Chu said.

Trevor Nelson of Lake Elmo, who works for a concert organizer who was performing at the Armory on Saturday night, was sent to buy bottles of fruit juice and other refreshments requested by the group. Target, with its parking ramp and adjoining liquor store, seemed like a convenient place to have everything.

"That was, it would be the perfect stop," said Nelson, wondering if he would still have free parking on the ramp if he was not able to make the minimum purchase of $ 20.

About half an hour later, after walking closer than 20 feet, Nelson learned that customers who went to the registers obtained parking cards and $ 5 gift cards.

"Woo-hoo," he said with a touch of sarcasm. "It's my lucky day."

Editor Suzanne Ziegler contributed to this report. katy.read@startribune.com 612-673-4583 jackie.crosby@startribune.com

612-673-7335

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