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Target blames cash register outage on glitch, not security breach

Shoppers at Target stores were unable to make purchases after a nationwide computer outage on Saturday afternoon, officials with the retail chain posted on social media.
Shoppers at Target stores were unable to make purchases after a nationwide computer outage on Saturday afternoon, officials with the retail chain posted on social media. AP

Shoppers at Target stores were unable to make purchases after cash register outages were reported on Saturday afternoon in various cities, including Charlotte, shoppers and officials with the retail chain posted on social media.

“We’re aware that guests are currently unable to make purchases at Target stores,” Target officials tweeted just after 3 p.m. “Our teams are troubleshooting now and we apologize for the inconvenience.”

Just after 6 p.m., Target announced that its registers “are fully back online and guests are able to purchase their merchandise again in all stores.”

Target blamed the outage on “an internal technology issue” that officials said lasted about two hours.

“Our technology team worked quickly to identify and fix the issue, and we apologize for the inconvenience and frustration this caused for our guests,” Target officials said in a statement posted on social media.

“After an initial but thorough review, we can confirm that this was not a data breach or security-related issue, and no guest information was compromised at any time,” according to the statement. “We appreciate all of our store team members who worked quickly to assist guests and thank everyone involved for their patience.”



Some customers were peeved to learn of the outage only when they got to the register after enduring a long line. Some waited and waited before finally leaving their Target.

“You should close your stores until you sort this out,” Jessica Pace posted on social media. “We didn’t know there was an issue (and) waited in line for 20 minutes before leaving our items and going to Walmart.”

Others made light of the outage.

“Did you try unplugging the computer and plugging it back in?” quipped someone with the Twitter handle Hipster.

“Ctr + Alt + Del,” a person named “Captain Obvious” chimed in.

“Placed an order to pick up later! Only thing is I won’t be doing any impulse shopping,” Kelly Whalen said, ending her post with a face-with-tears-of-joy emoji.

Workers at three stores in Georgia told CNN the registers had been offline for about 45 minutes as of 3 p.m.

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton surprised shoppers at the Target store in Stonecrest with an appearance from 6-7 pm on Thursday June 16, 2016, and helped several shoppers pick out Fathers Day gifts.

Joe Marusak has been a reporter for The Charlotte Observer since 1989 covering the people, municipalities and major news events of the region, and was a news bureau editor for the paper. He currently reports on breaking news.
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