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Target stores nationwide faced long lines and frustrated customers amid widespread cash register outage

Shoppers jokingly compared the situation to Armageddon and the Fyre Festival. Read More...

Target TGT, -0.58% experienced a global computer system outage Saturday that put cash registers out of commission for much of the day.

Customers across the country have reported that Target employees were advising them that the retailer’s payment system was down, causing long lines to form in many locations, according to reports on Twitter TWTR, -0.52% Based on reports from social media, the outage began sometime early Saturday afternoon.

Consumers described hours-long lines and confusion in stores across the country, with some saying that Target employees had turned away customers for two hours. Throughout the day, the outage trended on Twitter and spurred multiple hashtags including #targetdown, #targetshutdown, #TARGETGEDDON and #TargetApocalypse2019.

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Another customer said that they waited on line for 30 minutes only to find out that cashiers couldn’t handle any transactions. Stores were crowded with weekend shoppers, including those looking to purchasegifts for Father’s Day. On its website, the retailer was advertising Father’s Day discounts on grills and patio furniture, with the option of free in-store pickup for orders placed online.

Late Saturday afternoon, Target told MarketWatch that its registers were fully back online and guests were able to resume purchasing their merchandise again in all stores.

“The temporary outage earlier today was the result of an internal technology issue that lasted for approximately two hours,” a company spokeswoman said. “Our technology team worked quickly to identify and fix the issue, and we apologize for the inconvenience and frustration this caused for our guests.”

The spokeswoman added that the incident was not a data breach or security-related issue and that no guest information was compromised. The retailer experienced a major data breach in 2013, prompting $18.5 million settlement.

During the outage, some customers reported that store employees were offering discounts, beverages and snacks to those waiting in the long lines that have formed since the system outage began.

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The incident also prompted a slew of humorous reactions from people waiting to complete their purchases, with some comparing the incident to the apocalypse or the Fyre Festival.

Earlier this week, Target announced that it would begin offering same-day delivery for thousands of items for $9.99 per order, in a bid to compete with the free same-day and next-day delivery options offered by Amazon AMZN, -0.03%  and Walmart WMT, +0.39%  .

Shares of Target are up 14.52% over the past three months. Comparatively, the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.07%  and S&P 500 SPX, -0.16%  are up 0.93% and 2.29% over that same period of time.

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