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Target Stocks down 1% After the Nation-Wide Cash Register Malfunction over the Weekend

by Ivana Vojinovic

Target shares dropped by 1% after two consecutive days of cash register failures this weekend.

Shoppers at Target’s brick-and-mortar shops across the country had a less than smooth shopping experience on June 15 and 16, with delays at registers lasting up to two hours.

The ordeal began on Saturday afternoon when long lines started to form at the checkout counters in stores all over the country due to “an internal technology issue.”

As the lines grew longer, Target employees tried to defuse tensions. While most shoppers used social networks, mostly Twitter and Instagram, to express their annoyance with the retailer, some commended the employees on their efforts to make customers as happy as possible in the unfortunate circumstances.

The registers were back online two hours after the incident began. “After an initial but thorough review, we can confirm that this was not a data breach or a security-related issue, and no guest information was compromised at any time,” a Target spokesperson said to CNBC on Saturday evening.

Thinking that the crisis was over, shoppers returned in large numbers to Target stores on Sunday, June 16. However, the big-box retailer suffered another checkout related problem that day.

The company’s payment provider, NCR, encountered technical issues, halting the checkout process at many Target stores the second day in a row.

Dissatisfied shoppers took to Twitter and Instagram again, posting pictures of defunct registers and abandoned shopping carts. They expressed their discontent with hashtags  #Targetstilldown and #Targetoutrage.

“Like many other companies, Target uses NCR as a vendor to help accept payments, and on Sunday afternoon NCR experienced an issue at one of their data centers,” Target said to CNN Business on Sunday.

The problem caused by the company’s payment processor was resolved by Sunday evening when the company assured its customers once again that the issue was not related to security and that “no payment information was compromised at any time.”

NCR did not provide any comments regarding the events that paralyzed Target’s operations on Sunday.

After a weekend that left many customers unhappy, Target tried to mend the situation by saying “We never want to disappoint any guests and we’re working tirelessly to ensure these issues don’t happen again.”

“It’s awful. People are loading up for the summer, for camp … it was the weekend,” Stacey Widlitz, president of consulting group SW Retail Advisors, said about the mishap. “But these things happen. Then guess what? Things go back to normal.”

But before things returned to normal, on Monday morning after the misfortunate weekend, the retailer’s stocks went down by 2%. As the day progressed, the stocks did too. They are now 1% lower than yesterday.

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