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Target's records have failed nationally

The breakdown has led some stores to completely close rather than frustrating buyers, while others have been distributing treats to compensate for the system's failure.

Whether or not there is a deeper explanation of what's wrong, the incident shows how Target's data breach in 2013 shaped its responses to technical problems – it must now reassure customers, even in the presence of a relatively moderate problem like this one. This outage also highlights the fragility of connected retail systems. They can be interesting when everything works, but an isolated failure can create headaches for the entire chain.

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